MillerCoors answers back Blue Moon lawsuit
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In the beginning of this year, a Blue Moon’s consumer filed a lawsuit, claiming that he was buying the beer thinking that this was a craft beer. The consumer claims that he was not aware that this is a brand part of the MillerCoors product line and he was mislead by the brewery’s with its slogan ‘artfully crafted’.

Since then, everybody has been waiting for the brewery’s response. And it came last week.
Lehman Beverage Law, a law firm specialised in the regulation of a wide array of beverages, posted on its website the main points of MillerCoors’ response.

First, the giant brewery states that it is authorized by state and federal law to use the Blue Moon Brewing Company trade name. And they believe that placing MillerCoors name on the label would change the market dynamics, not only in the beer segment, but many others as well: Should a court find liability under these circumstances, where a registered trade name is used instead of the parent company name, it would dramatically change the way that many corporations operate, effectively standing corporate America on its head. Trade names are used in many industries, and many brands have surprising corporate relationships. Just to name a few: Jiffy Lube is owned by Shell Oil Company, Haagen-Dazs is owned by Nestle in the U.S., Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken are owned by Yum! Corporation and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is owned by Unilever.

And the giant brewery has also states that there is no craft beer definition in any law: There is no definition of “craft beer,” much less a legal one. Plaintiff relies on ever changing guidelines promulgated by the Brewers’ Association (“BA”), a trade group that has zero rulemaking authority, which defines an “American Craft Brewer,” but not the term “craft beer.” A trade association’s arbitrary definition of “craft brewer” does not give the trade association the power to abscond or control the use of the word “craft” or “crafted” by all beer industry participants.

Here is the official response MillerCoors gave to the press to explain its point of view:

MillerCoors is tremendously proud of Blue Moon and has always embraced our ownership and support of this wonderful brand. The class action filed against MillerCoors in California is without merit and contradicted by Blue Moon Brewing Company’s 20-year history of brewing creative beers of the highest quality. There are countless definitions of “craft,” none of which are legal definitions. We choose to judge beer by the quality, skill and passion that goes into brewing it. Back in 1995, Keith Villa, Blue Moon’s founder and head brewmaster had to work extremely hard to convince people to try his cloudy, Belgian-style beer. Today, MillerCoors is proud that Blue Moon has invited millions of drinkers to try something new, while helping pave the way for the current explosion of creativity in the brewing community.

It seems that this discussion will keep evolving….

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