Fighting to retain heritage beer brands - A CUB success story

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21 October 2013

In the largest set of opposition proceedings in Australian trade mark history, iconic Australian brewer CUB has emerged victorious from a dispute with a rival brewer intent on assuming control of a selection of CUB’s heritage brands.

INTRODUCTION

A connection with the past can be a powerful force in attracting custom. Marketers occasionally capitalise on the potency of collective nostalgia and restore classic brands to active duty on a full-time basis (MONACO BAR) or special release basis (MELLO YELLO). Once popular brands may be discontinued, but still remain in the affections of consumers (POLLY WAFFLE and TORANA).

From the brand owner’s perspective, it often makes commercial sense to maintain statutory protection for discontinued or periodically used trade marks which possess substantial equity and the potential for successful redeployment.

The Trade Marks Act is often described as embodying a “use it or lose it” philosophy. Whilst that is true to a point, there are important factors that can militate against the commandeering of seemingly vulnerable brands.

Corrs is proud to have represented CUB in defeating a serious challenge to some of its much-loved heritage beer brands.


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