Court Upholds Lion’s Right to Use ‘Barefoot’ Trademark
By Ian Neubauer
Lion Nathan has again prevailed in court against one of the world’s largest winemakers over its right to use the ‘Barefoot’ trademark to market its Barefoot Radler lime-infused beer.
The Federal Court in NSW yesterday (Mar 24) dismissed an appeal by E&J Gallo Winery over a 2008 ruling that found the US winemaker had forfeited the right to exclusively use the Barefoot trademark in Australia under the ‘use it or lose it’ trademark regime, The Australian Financial Review reported.
A wholly owned subsidiary of the US winemaker registered the ‘Barefoot’ trademark in Australia in 1999 but did not begin marketing significant quantities of the brand here until 2007.
E&J Gallo’s lawyers scored a small victory when the court overturned an element of the 2008 ruling that found beer and wine were separate classes of goods in regard to trademark law.
But it proved a double whammy for the US company, with the doors now open for Lion Nathan to lodge a counterclaim against the US company for infringement of its trademark.
Alternatively, E&J Gallo may dig its heels in and take the matter to the High Court of Australia.
E&J Gallo could not be contacted for comment today (Mar 25), while Lion Nathan is remaining tightlipped over its next move.