Patagonia is suing Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch AB InBev for selling a beer that bears its name and evokes the clothing company’s rugged, environmentally friendly brand and logo.
The federal lawsuit, filed by Patagonia earlier this week accuses AB InBev trademark infringement for as CNN explains “copying the brand’s name and aesthetic on its beer. AB’s Patagonia beer packaging includes a silhouette of a mountain and the word Patagonia in bold lettering.”
According To Ad Age “AB InBev unlawfully obtained a trademark for Patagonia on beer seven years ago, but has only recently introduced its Patagonia Brewing Co., beer to consumers via an intensive marketing campaign.”
AB InBev had been granted a trademark to sell Patagonia beer in the United States in 2012, but the company sat on the name and the product until 2018, when it started a selling beer with the branding at ski resorts in Colorado, a huge market place for Patagonia apparel.
“In short, AB has done everything possible to make it appear as though this PATAGONIA beer is sold by Patagonia.”
In the lawsuit company alleges that AB InBev “has gone as far as creating a logo that is strikingly similar to Patagonia’s famous mountain silhouette logo that has appeared continuously for decades on millions of products.”
To make matters worse, the company has its own line of Long Root beers which are sold through its Patagonia Provisions arm, so it’s not like they aren’t in the beer business. Patagonia’s Long Root beers are brewed using the eco-friendly long-rooted Kernza grain.
In the lawsuit Patagonia contends that AB InBev even went so far as to have an Anheuser-Busch representative contact its food subsidiary, Provisions, seeking an “interview” about the Kernza grain used in its Long Root Ale.
And Anheuser-Busch’s decision to promote its new Patagonia Beer at pop-store near Patagonia retail outlets in the heart of ski country was seen, as Patagonia explains in its lawsuit, as AB InBev “clearly attempting to copy Patagonia’s famous brand identity and confuse customers.”
Patagonia’s logo is built around the outline of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia, South America, which happens to border the two countries of the region: Chile and Argentina. And its apparel is currently available in more than 90 counties around the world.
The suit was filed in US District Court for the central district of California’s Western Division-Los Angeles.
A spokesman for AB InBev did not return American Craft Beer’s request for comment….
Banner Image credit: Patagonia Inc Patagonia beer image credit: AB InBev