News today that another battle is brewing in Canada’s notoriously litigious beer industry: Waterloo’s Brick Brewing Co. Ltd.–makers of Canadian beer brands Laker, Formosa, Red Cap, Red Baron and Waterloo–has been sued by Anheuser-Busch Co. and Labatt Brewing Co. over its labels for its Red Baron Lime beer product.
In the suit filed August 28 in Federal Court, Anheuser and Labatt take umbrage with the promotional material for Brick’s Red Baron Lime product. In particular, they allege the labeling scheme used on Red Baron Lime products, including the use of the colours silver and green together with the depiction of a half a lime, will confuse consumers into believing there is a connection with their own Bud Light Lime product, whose label uses the colours green and white together with the depiction of a wedge of lime.
Additionally, Anheuser and Labatt have claimed that Brick’s promotional website for Red Baron Lime–located at lustforlime.com–will lead to consumers to believe there is a connection with the product and the promotional website for Bud Light Lime located at budlightlime.com. Both sites feature prominent use of the colour green and images of young people in swimsuits.
Anheuser and Brick are no strangers to trade-mark litigation: in June the companies settled a suit over alleged labeling similarities between Anheuser’s Brava beer brand and Brick’s Red Baron product. Though it has not yet filed a formal statement of defense to these claims, Brick’s press release indicates that it sees the suit as a “nuisance,” and intends to fight it accordingly.