Now here’s a test for you. Can you spot the difference between the product on the left and the one on the right? I know it seems easy but apparently it’s tougher than it looks. Just in case you were stumped and thought it was a trick question, I’ll clarify it for you. On the left you have Red Bull, the well known energy drink brand. Whilst on the right you have Redwell the, and I’m sure they won’t mind me saying this, not so quite well known Norfolk microbrewery.What’s the connection? Well Red Bull have written to Redwell demanding that they change their name or face legal action. The problem is according to Red Bull-and it’s very obvious when you closely study the two products-that Redwell may “confuse” customers and “tarnish” the Red Bull trademark. Indeed I can now picture people up and down the land going to the shop for a can of Red Bull and coming out loaded up with Redwell IPA instead.
Problems arose shortly after the brewery, which is named after a street in Norwich, went to trademark its brand. A letter arrived from Hansjorg Jeserznik, Red Bull's brand enforcement manager, who said Redwell and Red Bull looked and sounded similar and it was "likely" that customers would perceive the brewery's drinks as an "imitation". They have given Redwell until the end of August to come to a resolution.
Of course this is nothing more than the usual corporate bullying than we have seen before in the drinks industry. It would be funny, if not for the headache that it has caused Redwell’s owner Paul Fisher. However, the brewery which employs only eight people, believe that they are in a strong position and hope to come to a settlement.
Let’s hope this silliness can be sorted out soon.