Western Australia’s Feral Brewing will tweak the branding of its Sly Fox beer under the settlement of a long-running trademark dispute with winemaker d’Arenberg.
D’Arenberg claimed the Feral Brewing Sly Fox Summer Ale infringed its trademark for The Feral Fox Pinot Noir, which the McLaren Vale winemaker registered in 2002.
A settlement agreed in recent weeks enables Feral to keep the name, but it has to make certain changes in how the branding is displayed, national sales and marketing manager Steve Finney told Australian Brews News.
“It’s been a good outcome, the fact that we can still keep the name Sly Fox. But it’s been expensive and a waste of everyone’s time – it’s something that’s been going on for close to 18 months,” Finney said.
“If the brand wasn’t going well, it would have been a whole lot easier just to drop it and rename it something else, but it’s actually got brand recognition and credibility over here, so we had to fight it.”
The settlement means the beer will now be labelled as ‘Sly Fox [by] Feral Brewing’, rather than Feral Sly Fox, as in the image below.
Feral has until October to sell through all its existing stock and begin rolling out the new branding across point of sale promotions, tap decals, bottle labels and signage.
D’Arenberg chief financial operator Lincoln Ridley told Australian Brews News the dispute had “all been settled amicably” and declined to comment further.
It was a curious battle to pick for the McLaren Vale winemaker, which previously invited a trademark dispute in 2013 when it launched a sparkling white wine cheekily named ‘Dadd’.
Global drinks giant Pernod Ricard did not see the funny side of the unwanted homage to its G.H. Mumm Champagne brand.
D’Arenberg agreed to phase out the product.