The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Better Beer wins court battle in Australia

Australian beer brand Better Beer has won a battle in the Federal Court after being accused of misleading or deceptive conduct.

The case centred around Better Beer’s packaging which was allegedly similar to another Aussie beer brand Brick Lane Brewing’s low-alcohol Sidewinder range.

Both brands were announced within days of each other in 2021, with Better Beer launched into New Zealand in October 2021.

The Federal case was led by Justice Angus Stewart who was tasked with considering the similarities and differences in the branding and packaging of each product.

Each features off-white cans and curving striped designs with blue and shades of orange and yellow.

Justice Stewart concluded that each brand was released into the market essentially side-by-side and Brick Lane did not have enough time to establish its market presence.

“I am not satisfied that the hypothetical reasonable consumer of beer would at the relevant date have had any particular familiarity with Brick Lane’s Sidewinder get-up, but even if they did, they would not have been likely to be misled by the similarity of the respondents’ Better Beer get-up to the Sidewinder get-up into thinking that the products were in some way associated,” said the court documents.

Brick Lane’s case was dismissed and Brick Lane must now pay Better Beer’s legal costs.

In a statement following the ruling, Better Beer co-founder Nick Cogger said: “While our adversary is ‘spewing’ that we’ve been so successful, both in court and in the marketplace, it has long known that both products were developed and launched almost simultaneously.

“Brick Lane’s attempt to claim a monopoly in beer labels with an off-white background and a striped retro vibe had failed. As has its attempt to monopolise 355mL cans.

“We are happy that we can put this inconvenience behind us and that we can continue to develop the Better Beer brand.”

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