By Ian Neubauer
Lion Nathan has retained the right to use the ‘barefoot’ trademark to market one of its newest beers after a Federal Court knocked back a bid by a leading US winemaker to prevent and penalise the Australian brewer for doing so.
E & J Gallo, which uses the barefoot trademark to sell its wine in the Americas, had sought an injunction against Lion Nathan following its January launch of Barefoot Radler, a lemon and lime-infused beer.
“The court found that there was no infringement, even though barefoot radler is similar to barefoot, because beer is not goods of the same description as wine, and because the manner in which Lion Nathan used barefoot radler is not likely to deceive or cause confusion,” said Lion Nathan spokesperson, James Tait.
The court also supported Lion Nathan’s application to deregister E & J Gallo’s ‘barefoot’ trademark right in Australia because the winemaker had not used the trademark here between May 2004 and May 2007.
“As a result of Gallo not using their barefoot trademark… the Federal Court ordered that their barefoot trademark be removed from the trademark register,” Tait said.
E & J Gallo is the second largest winemaker in the world and its Barefoot wine brand was the 11th largest selling wine brand in the US last year.