BURNABY, BC – The Vancouver Sun reports that Molson Coors threatened legal action last month against Pacific Western Brewing over the smaller brewery’s Natureland Organic Mingler, a mixed package of three Pacific Western beers released in late November.
According to the report, Molson Coors issued a letter to Pacific Western on December 8th indicating that Molson-owned Granville Island Brewing had registered a trademark for the word “mingler” in the context of beer packages in 2004.
Pacific Western responded on December 13th indicating that they would cease using the name once the initial batch of 5000 cases ran out in late January, but a reply from Molson Coors on December 21st indicated that this wasn’t acceptable. The letter demanded that Pacific Western stop using the name immediately before Granville Island’s brand could suffer “irreparable harm,” and also requested that a royalty be paid to Granville Island for the unauthorized use of the name.
When reached for comment by the Sun, Granville Island general manager Walter Cosman defended the strong tactics taken by Molson, saying that they were “just looking to protect our intellectual property.” However, he added that they’d decided to take no further action, and said that “if [Pacific Western] honour their gentlemen’s agreement not to sell the product beyond the end of January, we think that is sufficient.”