Federal Judge Sam Cummings has withdrawn from a lawsuit involving Taylor Sheridan and San Angelo-based coffee company Free Rein Coffee, previously known as Long Horn Coffee. The reason behind Cummings’ withdrawal remains undisclosed. Federal Judge James Wesley Hendrix will now preside over the case, who oversaw the trial of former San Angelo Police Chief Timothy Vasquez, who received a 15.5-year prison sentence. Sheridan filed for a patent for his competing coffee brand, “Bosque Ranch Craft Coffee,” five days before suing the San Angelo start-up. The lawsuit accuses Free Rein Coffee Company and its parent, Code of the West LLC, of trademark infringement and alleges unfair competition and false advertising. The complaint contends that the defendants employed a brand mark similar to Bosque Ranch’s registered trademark, potentially confusing consumers. Sheridan introduced the Bosque Ranch Craft Coffee brand in June 2023, and Free Rein Coffee emerged when Hauser and his partners acquired Long Horn Coffee in 2022. As of December 8, there has been no recorded appearance by Hauser, his partners, or their legal representation in response to the lawsuit.
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