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Why Patagonia Is Suing This Beer Giant

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 7 months ago | News

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Copyright infringement is nothing new in fashion. And earlier this year, Patagonia became the latest brand to file a lawsuit over trademark infringement. This suit is not against another fashion brand, though, but instead a beer giant called Anheuser-Busch.

The Fashion Law writes that Patagonia, “the 46-year old high performance-wear brand – which has found favour amongst extreme outdoorsy types, fashion industry figures, and no shortage of consumers in between – filed suit against Anheuser-Busch, alleging that the multi-national drink and brewing company... hijacked its trademark-protected brand name for a new beer offshoot called Patagonia Brewing Co.”

By using the same name and a similar logo, Patagonia Brewing Co. seems confusingly aligned with the responsibly sourced food arm that the outdoor brand launched in 2012, called Patagonia Provisions. This arm offers everything from salmon to beer.

But despite the same name and a similar environmental ethos, the Anheuser-Busch-owned Patagonia Brewing Co. has no relation to the outdoors outfitter or its Patagonia Provisions. Anheuser-Busch – which also owns brands like Budweiser and Stella Artois – has been accused of trademark infringement and dilution by Patagonia, in the suit filed last April. To which Anheuser-Busch responded with a motion to dismiss, claiming that Patagonia has failed to establish it has “the requisite level of distinctiveness to be ‘famous’”.

Patagonia refutes this and claims that the beer giant is misappropriating its name and “tremendous goodwill” – especially the goodwill it has gained with respect to environmental initiatives. The case is currently ongoing but it proves that big brands are even more eager than ever to tap into the eco movement right now. Watch this space. 

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