Red Bull threatens lawsuit against Bullards

Red Bull threatens lawsuit against Bullards

Power drink maker Crimson Bull has launched a trademark dispute in opposition to English gin producer Bullards Spirits for its use of the phrase ‘bull’.

Bullards London Dry Gin
Norwich-based Bullards Spirits produces a spread of gin and plans to maneuver into mixers

Crimson Bull is opposing an software to register the mark ‘Bullards’ earlier than the UK Mental Property Workplace (IPO).

In February 2021, the Austrian smooth drinks big despatched a letter to Bullards’ lawyer alleging that the UK trademark ‘Bullards’ is just like the ‘Redbull’ trademark as a result of each phrases include the phrase ‘bull’ and would doubtless trigger public confusion.

Within the letter, seen by The Spirits Enterprise, Crimson Bull claimed that Norwich-based producer Bullards is ‘searching for to experience on the coat-tails of [its] well-known model’.

The letter learn: “Our shopper recognises that your shopper’s model stems from a historic household enterprise and so it has requested us to spotlight that it doesn’t wish to forestall your shopper from doing something it has traditionally performed.”

Bullards was based in 1837 as a producer of beer and an importer of wines and spirits. Russell Evans revived the Bullards identify in 2015 with an emphasis on gin, establishing a distillery within the centre of Norwich.

As a way to settle the dispute, Crimson Bull’s authorized crew requested that Bullards withdraws its trademark underneath sure items, together with non-alcoholic drinks equivalent to power drinks and from getting used at occasions.

‘No confusion’

Bullards founder Russell Evans instructed The Spirits Enterprise: “We don’t suppose there’s any confusion. They’re insisting that we take away our trademark registrations for sure sectors like smooth drinks, fizzy drinks, and occasions. My concern is that as I don’t agree there’s any battle, if I begin letting them have power drinks, I’m nearly admitting there’s confusion between Crimson Bull and Bullards.”

The corporate has “no intention of doing power drinks” however is planning to launch a mixer vary subsequent yr to enhance its gin vary, Evans added.

Evans mentioned he has spent £10,000 (US$13,688) in authorized charges after the 2 firms have been going forwards and backwards within the discussions since February.

Evans continued: “We now should put our defence in by mid-October. It then goes to an IPO formal listening to. They’re decided to cease us doing it. It’s not the primary time they’ve performed it; they’ve issued authorized motion in opposition to a Norwich brewery.

“I don’t suppose this may go to courtroom. They attempt to bully folks into doing what they need.”

Crimson Bull, which was based in 1987, mentioned it was “not acceptable to touch upon a present authorized matter”.

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