By James Atkinson
Sydney's Wayward Brewing has won a two-year battle with SABMiller India to register the Wayward trademark for beer in Australia.
SABMiller India claimed Australian consumers would be confused by the Wayward name because it was too similar to that of the multinational's existing Indian beer brands, Haywards 5000 and Haywards 2000, which have been available in Australia since 2002.
But the Australian Trade Marks Office last month rejected all of SABMiller India's points of opposition, which included the argument that the Haywards brands accounted for 40 per cent of the Indian beer category in Australia.
Office Delegate Michael Kirov said that even if he was satisfied that the Haywards brand had a longstanding reputation in Australia, he did not believe that the Wayward trademark was similar enough that it would cause beer drinkers to be deceived or confused.
He ruled that the Wayward trademark may be registered in Australia, and awarded costs against SABMiller India.
Wayward Brewing founder Peter Philip (pictured) told TheShout it was a great feeling to finally be vindicated, but the actual costs incurred were much higher.
"We spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on research for our defence of the trademark, and I wish I could put a cost on the stress and the impact on the business," he said.
The decision was handed down on June 16 and the 20-day timeframe for SABMiller to appeal it has now expired.
SABMiller has been contacted for comment.
Wayward to open new brewery in 2015
Wayward is a small craft brewer specialising in unique and off-beat beers, such as Keller Instinct – a Bavarian Keller Bier – and Saizen Eurasian Summer Saison, which blended European tradition of the French Saison style with Japanese hops and Chinese Jasmine Green Tea.
Wayward has to date been a 'gypsy brewery', utilising the equipment of other breweries in Sydney for its production.
The Sydney brewer recently secured premises in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Camperdown, which will become its permanent brewery facility in early 2015.
“We can’t wait to open our doors to the public and finally have our own brewery," Philip said.