The war between AB Inbev and Patagonia will not take place
Brewer AB InBev and sportswear and equipment brand Patagonia were arguing over brand territory. They declared the armistice.
After a legal fight lasting more than two years, the Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant AB InBev and the famous Californian sportswear brand Patagonia smoked the peace pipe. The two groups have just concluded a amicable agreement, which put an end to their dispute. So far, the content of this agreement has not been disclosed.
For every pot of Patagonia sold, the brewer would commit to planting a tree.
A few years ago, AB InBev launches its Argentine beer brand (Cerveza) Patagonia in the United States. This is a “premium” pilsner created for a long time in Argentina by its local subsidiary Quilmes. The world’s largest brewer has marketed it in several US states, including Colorado. This is apparently where the Patagonia sports group first found out about it.
At the same time, he discovered that AB InBev used, in its communication on this beer, to an environmental argument: for each pot of Patagonia sold, the brewer committed to to plant a tree. As the Californian group had also been making efforts in favor of the environment for a long time, it felt doubly copied, reason for which he initiated, in 2019, an action in front of a federal court in Los Angeles.
The two groups in turn questioned the level of protection and questioned the anteriority of their marks respective. The brewer disputed, in particular, that the clothing brand is sufficiently distinctive and widespread in the United States, while the Californian group noted that another brewer had filed, long before AB InBev, an application for protection for a trademark of homonymous beer (without ever using it).
Ultimately, the federal judge will not have to decide these debates, since the two parties have ended up agreeing. It remains to be seen whether AB InBev will continue to market “its” Patagonia in the United States.