Pale Ale trademark showdown looms

A bottle of Coopers Original Pale AleCarlton & United Breweries, Lion, Asahi and Thunder Road have opposed a bid by Coopers to trademark ‘Original Pale Ale’.

Coopers already held a trademark for Original Pale Ale when used in conjunction with its own brand: Coopers Original Pale Ale.

But in February 2013, the brewer applied to extend this protection to cover all usage of the phrase.

CUB, Lion, Asahi and Intellectual Property Development Corporation Pty Ltd – the entity that performs the brand-owning role for Thunder Road Brewery – formally opposed the trademark after its acceptance was advertised in March this year.

They have until September 29 to provide evidence in support of their claim.

Thunder Road separately applied to trademark Thunder Road Original Pale Ale in April this year, according to IP Australia records.

However a Thunder Road spokesman told Australian Brews News:”We are leaving this one to the big boys and have no further comment.”

A CUB spokesperson said: “CUB understands why Coopers would be trying to achieve this but we respectfully believe the phrase should also be available to other brewers. CUB now has to make its case and it will respect the process whatever the outcome.”

A Lion spokesperson added: “We think it is counterproductive for the beer category for one brand to be able to claim ownership of a beer style.”

Asahi did not respond to a request for comment. Coopers declined to comment on the application.

The ruling could have implications for other companies such as Balmain Brewing, which has had its Original Pale Ale trademarked since 2011.

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