Court rules Patagonia’s lawsuit against Anheuser’s “Patagonia” beer can proceed. Plus pictures to let you decide how you feel about this.
Patagonia’s (the clothing maker) lawsuit against Anheuser Busch will proceed following a finding that Patagonia may (just may…) be able to support those claims that its brand is one of the most recognized and famous in the world.
By way of background – Anheuser-Busch recently launched a “Patagonia” beer at ski resorts in Colorado under the name “Patagonia Brewing Company” and went on to register a trademark for “Patagonia” in beer.
Here’s what that looked like:
Guess what the sales staff wore?
Yep – black down jackets with a “Patagonia” logo on the chest. The clothing company took exception to this and filed its lawsuit alleging that Anheuser-Busch’s Patagonia beer brand was a deliberate attempt to misappropriate the tremendous goodwill that Patagonia, the clothing company, had built up in their brand. The clothier also alleges that Anheuers-Busch unlawfully procured its trademark for Patagonia in beer though fraudulent misrepresentations to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by swapping the claims for intent to use and registration between Anheuser and Warsteiner – another brandt AB owns.
Anheuser asked the court to dismiss the case arguing the complaint wasn’t specific or accurate enough to lay out the claims Patagonia sought damages for. Importantly, one of these involved an argument that the “Patagonia” brand wasn’t famous enough.
The court rejected these arguments denying the motion to dismiss and allowing the parties to proceed on the amended complaint Patagonia filed.
You can read the Patagonia’s amended complaint here. This amended complaint is the subject of the motion to dismiss that the court denied. You can read the court’s order on the motion to dismiss here.
Here are the two logos side-by-side: