September 1, 2009
by Canadian Packaging Staff
Citing similarities between its beer, primary and secondary packaging, the Waterloo, Ont.-based Brick Brewing Co. Ltd. says it is being sued by Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Labatt Brewing Co., both subsidiaries of the world’s largest beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, claiming the Ontario company has violated the trademarks and copyrights for Bud Light Lime.
Requesting an injunction from the Federal Court of Canada, the beer giants are also seeking compensation or an accounting of profits from Brick’s sales of Red Baron Lime beer.
Brick says it has had the Red Baron trademark for more than 20 years and did its research before launching the lime version of its beer this month.
The Ontario beer maker says a suit by the subsidiaries of Anheuser-Busch InBev wasn’t a surprise and described it as a standard tactic to eliminate competition, saying it will defend itself from the legal challenge.
Labatt accused Brick of piggy-backing on Bud Light Lime‘s label, packaging and other design elements calling Brick’s labels and secondary packaging "very similar" to Bud Light Lime.
"ABI and Labatt are seeking damages for trade mark and copyright infringement, which cause confusion to the consumer, and financial harm to the companies," Labatt said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Brick agreed to change the label used for its Red Baron beer as part of a copyright and trademark settlement with Labatt, who alleged the label and secondary packaging for Red Baron created confusion with Labatt’s Brava brand.