A small Norwich-based brewery was celebrating yesterday after Red Bull backed down in a trademark battle over its name.
Red Bull had informed Redwell Brewery that its name infringed on its prior UK trademark of the word ‘red’, adding that ‘well’ and bull’ both ended in ‘ll’. It argued that consumers could be confused about the origin of the products, and tried to block Redwell from trademarking its name.
Red Bull’s stance prompted a flurry of comments on social media and on the brewery’s website, with Redwell fans slamming their action as “bullying”.
A Red Bull spokeswoman said today: “It has long been our position that we have no issue with Redwell maintaining its trademark for beer. What we have asked is that they do not use it for energy drinks, which we feel is a reasonable request - Redwell has agreed to this and therefore there is no longer any issue. They will continue to sell great beer under the name Redwell.”
The brewery confirmed it had agreed not to apply its name to energy drinks, saying that “common sense” had prevailed. “We’re gonna get back to making amazing beers for you thirsty folk. If we could make it rain beer to say thanks for all your support, we would!” it said on Twitter.
Redwell co-founder Patrick Fisher said on Wednesday the brewery had been “shocked” to receive Red Bull’s trademark challenge. “We didn’t know what to do. Ever since then it’s been like a grey cloud over the brewery.”
Redwell launched in April, produces three lagers and two ales in kegs, and supplies independent pubs and bars nationwide. It currently turns out 5,000 pints of beer of week but is aiming to raise this to 7,500 pints a week by September, after increasing capacity, Fisher said.