By Andrew Starke

Barefoot Radler is no more after Lion Nathan National Foods lost a trademark infringement court case against US wine company E&J Gallo Winery in the third installment of a lengthy legal wrangle.

The High Court surprised many observers by ruling that the California-based wine conglomerate has exclusive rights to the ‘Barefoot’ brand and that the brewer must discontinue its Barefoot Radler beer range.

In 2008 Lion Nathan retained the right to use the trademark to market one of its newest beers after a Federal Court knocked back a bid by E&J Gallo Winery to prevent and penalise the Australian brewer for doing so.

Last year the Federal Court in NSW dismissed an appeal by the wine company.

"We are disappointed by yesterday's High Court ruling, which represents a substantial change to Australian trade mark law,” said a Lion Nathan spokesperson. “However, we are moving forward and transitioning to a new trade mark: Bare Cove Radler.”

“Our first priority is to ensure supply continuity for our customers and consumers, and we have a comprehensive contingency plan in place,” he continued.

“We remain committed to the brand and will continue to invest behind it. We will begin with a packaging refresh and updated point of sale marketing materials to ensure consumers understand the change in name.”

Lion Nathan has been given 28 days to stop selling Barefoot Radler but, contrary to other media reports, will not have to pull stock from pubs or bottle shops.

The court ruling will therefore have no impact on stock already in stores or the supply chain.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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