They aren’t the Montagues or the Capulets, but their feud is just as legendary. The Hatfields and McCoys rose to infamy in the mid-to-late 1800s after a series of events more exciting and intriguing than what Shakespeare provided in fair Verona – think murders, love triangles, arson, courtroom drama, and a very famous pig. You can learn more about the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys here.
These days, the McCoys and Hatfields aren’t feuding along family lines. A new feud, however, has started – over the right to use HATFIELD & MCCOY in trademarks for whiskey (namely moonshine). According to news reports, some members of the Hatfield and McCoy families joined together with The History Channel and Monselle Darville to enter into the commercial alcohol (and reality television) business. They have applied to trademark THE LEGENDARY HATFIELD & MCCOY MOONSHINE (see here). Meanwhile, another member of the Hatfield family (apparently along with an unidentified McCoy) is also trying to break into the alcohol business with the trademark HATFIELD & MCCOY MOONSHINE THE DRINK OF DEVIL ANSE HATFIELD (see here). While there won’t be quite as much intrigue with this fued, there may still be some courtroom drama. Unless the parties are able to resolve their differences, the question of who gets to use what trademark will likely be decided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office or a judge.
* Title courtesy of William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Prologue