A beer drinkers’ society warns it faces bankruptcy if it loses its dispute with DB Breweries over a shandy-like lager which most of its members do not drink.
The Society of Beer Advocates (Soba), an organisation with about 500 members run by volunteers, has taken legal action against DB over the term “Radler”, which the brewing giant uses on a citrus-flavoured brand of Monteith’s.
DB has a trademark over Radler which Soba is attempting to have declared invalid, arguing that like pilsner or lager, the term is a generic name for a recognised style of beer over which no-one should have exclusive rights.
I agree with SOBA. It is a generic term.
A spokeswoman for DB said its application to trademark the term in 2003 was not contested.
DB does not claim to have come up with the term, acknowledging the German origins on its website, but bases its right to trademark it on the lack of public awareness of the origins, and the “considerable” investment in the brand.
My advice to DB is not to try and trademark generic terms, even if obscure. Go invent your own brandnames and trademark them.Tags: beer, DB, Free Trade