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In some industries, I can see the practice of providing tools and instructions on how to create a knockoff product being frowned upon though beer culture beats to a different drum. That and homebrewers probably aren't going out & selling their clones for profit. But the homebrewing shop is making money off of a brewery's work in a way.

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There is an interesting situation going on now between Northern Brewer and Bell's Brewery over a trademark issue between their three and two hearted recipes, respectively. Northern Brewer doesn't claim it to be a clone, but Bell's begs to differ. –  D J Mar 23 '11 at 20:23
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It has nothing to do with weather it's a clone or not, strictly the name and trademark, as Bell's letter someone links to later points out. –  jsled Mar 24 '11 at 0:08

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It is becoming a more and more common practice for shops to gain permissions in some way due to various issues of trademark and intellectual property. It is always a good idea if you are selling anything that can be another companies "property" to do so.

There is currently an issue between Northern Brewer and Bell's Brewery over whether or not NB's Three Hearted is a clone of Bell's Two Hearted even though NB doesn't claim it to be. More info.

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As noted above, it's not an issue of whether it's a clone - Bell's doesn't care - it's the NAME of the kit. –  Ell Mar 24 '11 at 19:20

Usually not, although I know that the kits that Rogue puts out of their own beers were developed by a brewer for Rogue with input from John Maier.

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For clones, I don't think it's common practice to do so, and I don't think it needs to be. It's more of an homage and an effort of taste than a "knock-off" product. Like recipes more generally, and items of hand-crafted effort more broadly, you have to squint pretty hard to think the homebrew shop is "making money off of a brewery's work".

Of course, if it strays into the realm of misrepresentation or trademark infringement, that's a different story.

Recently, we've seen Northern Brewer do branded kits in conjunction with regional breweries, eg. http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/recipe-kits/pro-series … but there they state "These are NOT clones – these are the actual recipes of beers you know and love … by reputation as well as taste. Northern Brewer has teamed up with craft brewmasters to bring their favorite creations to homebrew kit scale."

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Norther Brewer recently received a Cease and Desist on trademark basis, for their 3 Hearted Ale from Bell's (maker's of 2 Hearted Ale) It's a simple trademark defense, and not really aimed at the recipe. bellsbeer.com/news/… –  TinCoyote Mar 23 '11 at 16:48

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