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Name, origin, and trademark dispute
The name "Koozie" was coined as a trademark, according to Norwood Promotional Products. It was originally a trademark of the Texas company Radio Cap Corporation (RCC). RCC registered the trademark in 1980; but the registration lapsed in 2001. Norwood had bought RCC in 1989, and it re-registered the trademark in February 2004. Today, Société Bic owns the trademark for KOOZIE, as well as RCC KOOZIE.
The beer koozie (pronunciation: // KOO-zee), "beer hugger", or "beer huggie", is a misnomer as it is not always used for an alcoholic beverage. Other names are "coastie", "cozy", "coosie", "coolie", "coldy-holdy", "candom","can cooler", "bawdle", "beer sleeve", and "bottle jacket". In Australia it is called a "stubby holder" due to the shape of the 375 millilitres (13.2 imp fl oz; 12.7 US fl oz) bottles of beer being shorter and fatter compared to the more slender 330 millilitres (12 imp fl oz; 11 US fl oz) bottles.
Norwood has been in a dispute, on-and-off over several years in the 2000s, over the Koozie trademark status with an online retail business called Kustom Koozies. Norwood asserts that names such as beer hugger, can cooler, and huggie do not infringe its trademark, but that koozie, coozie, coolie, and cozy do. Kustom Koozies asserted in 2005 that the trademark had become generic. In the years since, Norwood and Kustom Koozies came to a licensing agreement over the use of the trademark, but by 2009 they were in dispute again, as Kustom Koozies (unsuccessfully) attempted to cancel the trademark licensing agreement in response to Norwood instructing it to make certain changes to its website, one of which was that "Koozie" should be set out in all-capital letters as "KOOZIE," and another being that a ® be used to identify genuine Norwood KOOZIES.
The primary use of a beer koozie is to effectively insulate a beverage from heat via both conduction and external infrared sources (for example: a hand, warm air, or strong sunlight). Using a beer koozie can reduce the rate a drink warms in the sun by up to 50%.
Secondary uses include easily identifying one's beverage from another person's and for marketing. By imprinting on the koozie many different companies have used the koozie as a promotional giveaway because it is not only inexpensive to manufacture, but its frequent use is more likely to bring the company's name to a household presence. Originally a logo or image was screen-printed on a round foam cylinder with a foam base (generally a hole is provided in the base to alleviate creation of a vacuum). A beer koozie can be made from many materials like neoprene, polyester, or open cell foam, leather or vinyl.
Materials and styles
The beer koozie has evolved in both material and style. The materials of which the beer koozie has been made include leather, plain foam, neoprene, closed cell foam, and EVA foam. Some companies create koozies for 40 oz. bottles; others adjust to fit the wide variety of sizes of beverage container. The material used to construct the koozie is designed to insulate the enclosed beverage from external sources of radiant and conducted heat (i.e. heat from a hand/or the sun). Beer koozie used SBR neoprene for 12-ounce bottles which is cheaper than other methods. Thus, saving companies money on manufacturing.
- Maine Leather Co. (2014). Hand Stitched Leather https://www.etsy.com/listing/181556145/handmade-leather-beer-coozie-hand
- Farrell, Kenan (2012-01-06). "Indiana Trademark Litigation Update — Norwood Promotional Products v. KustomKoozies (DECISION)". IndianaIntellecualProperty web log.
- Freeman, Jan (2009-01-04). "Why is that beer jacket a 'koozie'?". The Boston Globe (Boston.com). Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- "Sydney Shuman's Site". Dfinitions.synthasite.com. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Snell, Teddye (2006-01-20). "Drinkthink: Keeping it hot and cold". Tahlequah Daily Press.