Beer names: Camden and Redwell fight in Europe
BE Camden and Redwell

Last month, we saw an ugly battle between Lagunitas Brewing Company and Sierra Nevada over the design of Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter IPA.

Lagunitas believed that the new Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter IPA label infringes its trademark, considering that the IPA acronym design is too similar and consumers can think that the new beer could be misinterpreted as a collaboration of the two breweries.

But they quickly backed away from the legal battle, due to the bad publicity the issue caused.

Now another battle is taking place in Europe because of beer names. This time the problem is in the UK and the breweries involved are Camden Town Brewery and Redwell Brewing Company.

Redwell, a brewery based in Trowse, is being sued in The High Court in London, for up to £100.000 in a dispute over the name Hells lager.

Camden accuses Redwell of trying to trade on the success of Camden Hells, made since 2010 and requested them to stop making its own Hells Craft lager.

Patrick Fisher, co-owner of Redwell Brewery, said: “It’s been a hellish time when we just want to focus on making good beer and pushing the brewery forward,” he said. “It’s soul-destroying, particularly when you know the foundation of their claim is just - to us - ludicrous.”

Redwell claims the term Hells is seen by Germans as a generic description for light lager as is the term Helles and hell along with others. They referenced more than two dozens other beers available in the UK that had the name Hells within them.

The legal claim centers on an allegation of passing off, which is legally defined as “making some false representation likely to induce a person to believe that the goods or services are those of another”.

Camden claimed that it invented the mark Hells, it was not used as a descriptive term and that Redwell’s Hells lager was identical to its own. They believe that Hells is not used by Germans to describe light lagers, it is used names as Hell or Helles. Therefore Camden believes that Redwell is trying to ride on their real powerhouse brand, which they spent tons of time and money to build.

Let’s wait and see what is going to happen!

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