DB fights Tui trademark rejection

Beer giant DB Breweries has gone to the High Court over a trademark battle with a German tourism company that shares the same name as one of DB’s beers.

DB produces the popular Tui beer, which has been sold under the mark since 1889.

However, German company Tui AG holds several trademark registrations under that same name.

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) recently rejected DB’s application to register trademarks under the Tui name in several new categories.

IPONZ also rejected DB’s application to have four of Tui AG’s trademarks registrations revoked.

These trademark registrations blocked DB’s trademark application for the “Tui Forceback World Series” (forceback is a popular schoolyard game) and as a result DB decided to abandon its application.

According to an analysis by Australian intellectual property law firm Davies Collison Cave, DB needed to establish that it was an “aggrieved person” to succeed in its case.

“This case may be a high watermark as to what is required to establish “aggrieved person” status in relation to New Zealand revocation proceedings.

“It remains to be seen whether these more stringent requirements will be applied in subsequent New Zealand revocation actions.”

A hearing on the dispute was held in chambers in the High Court at Auckland today, on an application for further evidence.