Inglewood pub at the center of legal battle returns with new name
By Tristan Oram, Contributor
In September, Calgary pub Swans of Inglewood reopened under a new name. Now known as The Dirty Duck, the rebrand came about due to a tense legal battle between the Calgary establishment and a B.C. pub, Victoria’s Swans Hotel and Brewpub.
The Victoria pub was opened by millionaire and philanthropist Michael Williams in 1989, and is owned by the University of Victoria (UVic). Five years later, Calgary’s Swans of Inglewood came onto the scene.
Flash forward to 2017 and Nadina Stainsby, co-owner of the bar formerly known as Swans of Inglewood, found herself with a cease and desist from Swans Hotel and Brewpub.
In an interview in 2018 with “C-FAX 1070” in Victoria, Stainsby said that the Victoria pub managed to get a federal trademark to the word “Swans” in November of 2017.
“What was indicated to me was that once they received the federal trademark, their obligation is to protect the federal trademark, which is fine,” Stainsby said at the time.
However, she found it troublesome that the defense of the trademark was only started with Stainsby, and did not extend to any other pubs with the name “Swans.”
When presented with the idea that Swans in Victoria was trying to protect their brand of beer which they sell under the same name, Stainsby said that makes sense. She then pointed out, however, that the Calgary pub was not a brewpub and had no plans to sell a beer of its own that would compete with Victoria’s Swans.
“We’re not stepping on anybody’s toes,” Stainsby told “C-FAX”, saying that Swans of Inglewood did not advertise outside its own titular neighborhood.
Now under its changed name, The Dirty Duck Pub continues to serve Calgary customers in the wake of this experience. An article by Curiocity about the reopening proclaimed that nothing fundamental about the pub has changed — just the name.
In 2018, Stainsby said that she felt like the tactics taken by Victoria’s Swans Brewpub amounted to bullying. She also claimed that the Victoria Swans wanted final approval on any graphics Stainsby used to rebrand her pub, and declined to help “foot the bill” for the cost of the name change.
Victoria’s Swans Hotel and Brewpub did not respond to a request for comment. Stainsby was unable to comment due to signing a non-disclosure agreement and non-disparagement agreement as a means to end the lawsuit from Swans Hotel and Brewpub, she told The Reflector in a statement.