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A Wayward win in David vs Goliath trademark battle

July 16, 2014


Wayward Brewing has been victorious in its battle with multinational giant brewer SABMiller India to register its trade mark WAYWARD for beer in Australia.

The small Sydney craft brewery has been locked in a two-year battle to register its trade mark which was opposed by SABMiller India, a subsidiary of the global brewing giant SABMiller – the second largest global brewing group and owner of some of the largest beer brands in the world including Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught, Fosters, Miller Genuine Draft, Coors, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Grolsch.

SABMiller India claimed a long-list of grounds in their opposition to Wayward Brewing’s application to register WAYWARD in Australia. In evidence they relied upon reputation in their brands “Haywards 5000” and “Haywards 2000”, asserting that Wayward Brewing’s use of WAYWARD for beer would confuse consumers in Australia.

In a comprehensive decision, the Australian Trade Marks Office found that none of SABMiller India’s points of opposition held water. The Hearing Officer ruled that the WAYWARD trade mark may be registered in Australia, and awarded costs against SABMiller India.

Wayward brewer Peter Phillip standing on a brewhouse

Wayward Brewing’s Peter Phillip.

“Maybe they thought that a little guy wouldn’t stand up to them, but I always knew we were in the right and I wasn’t going to give up without a fight”, said Peter Philip, founder and head brewer of Wayward Brewing Company, adding “We always believed that the opposition was totally without foundation as our WAYWARD trade mark is completely different in sound, appearance and meaning to their brands.”

“It is a great feeling to be finally vindicated in our victory but it has cost us a lot of time, money and stress wondering whether this massive global brewer was going to force us to change our brand and start all over with a new name”, said Peter, adding “For me it was always personal as I have put my heart and soul into building this

Wayward is a small craft brewer specialising in unique and off-beat beers that live up to the “wayward” brand. The brewery has produced beers that are unknown in Australia and has matched these with unique names such as “Keller Instinct” – a Bavarian Keller Bier – and “Saizen Eurasian Summer Saison” which blended European tradition of the French Saison style with Japanese hops and Chinese Jasmine Green Tea for a distinctly Asian “Zen” influence. The brewery also produced one of the strongest beers brewed in Australia with its “Devil’s Advocate Eisbock” at 13 per cent.

Bottles of Wayward Brewing beers

The beers of Wayward Brewing.

“Wayward is all about being off the beaten path and having a sense of adventure – which a the philosophy I apply to my brewing”, said Philip. “beers like mine appeal to a growing part of the market that appreciates the unique beer styles that a local craft brewery can offer over some of the flavourless mass produced beers out there.”

Wayward have won critical and popular acclaim since releasing its first brew, Charmer India Red Ale in 2013. The small brewer has gone on to win accolades such as the best beer of the 2013 Australian Beer Festival and has won multiple medals at the prestigious Melbourne Australian International Beer Awards in both 2013 and 2014 as well as winning the Edith Cowan University Trophy for best packaged lager at the 2013 Perth Royal Beer Show.

Until today, Wayward has been what is known as a “Gypsy Brewery”, utilising the equipment of other breweries in Sydney for its production. The Sydney brewer recently secured premises in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Camperdown which will become its permanent brewery facility in early 2015.

“We can’t wait to open our doors to the public and finally have our own brewery”, said Peter, adding “we have been holding back on releasing a number of new Wayward brews that we think people are going to love.”

The Wayward brewery is scheduled to open its doors around January 2015.

People can keep in touch with progress on www.waywardbrewing.com.au or visit their Facebook page.


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