Taylor Sheridan, the creator of Paramount Network’s hit series Yellowstone, has filed a lawsuit against one of his show’s stars, Cole Hauser. The legal drama started when Sheridan’s business empire, Bosque Ranch, filed a trademark infringement suit against Hauser’s coffee company, Free Rein.
According to the suit filed on November 21 in the Northern District of Texas, Bosque Ranch has accused Free Rein of “unfair competition and false advertising.” The company claims that Free Rein’s brand mark, which infuses the letters F and R like a cattle brand, is “strikingly similar” to Bosque Ranch’s registered trademark, potentially misleading consumers. Bosque Ranch also alleges that Free Rein launched their coffee brand with the F/R logo without their authorization.
The lawsuit comes after a reported feud between Sheridan and Yellowstone star Kevin Costner, who plays John Dutton on the show. The two were said to be at odds over Costner’s desire to reduce his workload for the show’s upcoming fifth and final season. While Sheridan expressed disappointment in Costner’s decision, he insisted that they were on good terms. However, industry insiders also pointed to Sheridan’s ego as a possible reason for the conflict.
The lawsuit also comes just over a month after Paramount announced that the final episodes of Yellowstone will air in November 2024. This confirmation came after reports that Costner would be exiting the show in the first half of season 5. To soften the blow for fans of the popular series, the network also announced two spin-off series – one set in 1944 and the other a contemporary story set in 2024.
Hauser, who plays ranch hand Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone, has been a fixture on the show since it premiered in 2018. His character is married to Beth Dutton, played by Kelly Reilly, the only daughter of Kevin Costner’s character, John Dutton, and the late Evelyn Dutton, played by Gretchen Mol.