DB Breweries is in the process of cancelling the registration of its Saison trademark with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). The company has held the trademark since April 2002.
DB Breweries’ general manager marketing Clare Morgan says the decision to cancel the trademark was a logical one given the company hasn’t produced Saison for a considerable time.
“We haven’t brewed Monteith’s Saison for six years and we have no intention of re-launching it to the market as it no longer fits our current Monteith’s portfolio. The brand was very well received when it was first launched but we ceased production in 2003.”
Clare Morgan says the cancellation of the Saison trademark has no bearing on the company’s ‘Radler’ trademark.
The trademarking stoush between a multinational brewery and a bunch of Kiwi beer enthusiasts over the use of the beer term “radler” is starting to froth.
DB Breweries, which is now wholly owned by Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries, last week signalled its intention to fight a legal application filed in May by the Society of Beer Advocates (Soba) to invalidate its trade-marking of radler, in what is shaping as a David and Goliath beer battle.
Soba’s strategy would be to establish that New Zealanders, particularly brewers, were aware of the generic nature of the term before that date.
“We may soon require the assistance of all brewers in New Zealand in our quest to show that DB are either malicious in registering a trademark they knew was a generic brewing term, or incompetent in not knowing it was, when every other brewer worth their salt did,” Mr McGill said.
“One outcome means they lose the trademark, the other means they lose huge amounts of credibility by being a brewer without a clue about beer.”
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Wine lovers, ask yourself how you would feel if there was only one brand of sauvignon blanc allowed to be sold in New Zealand.
What if one winery was allowed to trademark a varietal name and, in so doing, prevent anyone else from using it?
You might think it’s unbelievable, but it’s precisely what’s happened in the case of a beer style. DB Breweries, producer of the Monteith’s range of beers, has been granted a trademark on the name Radler and is now preventing other brewers from using it.
There is some heated debate currently on the RealBeer.co.nz Forums regarding the trademarking of the beer style ‘Radler’ by Heineken/DB/Monteith’s in New Zealand.
Back Story Here by NBR
Should a company be allow to trademark a beer style?
Should you be allowed to trademark beer styles? i.e. Radler?
( online surveys)