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AB InBev and Heineken fight for trademarks in Mexico

By Becerril, Coca & Becerril, S.C. - 24/09/2018
AB InBev and Heineken fight for trademarks in Mexico

On July 30, 2018, the Mexican brewery Grupo Modelo – ABInBev requested the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) through a trademark opposition procedure, to prohibit production of rival beer “Amstel Ultra”, alleging that it infringed its trademark Michelob Ultra, a low carb and low calorie light beer. Grupo Modelo has exclusive rights in Mexico for the import and distribution of products from Belgian brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev, among which “Michelob Ultra” can be found.

"We trust that our intellectual property rights are enforced with the aim of guaranteeing a fair competition”, the company stated in a press release. In the document presented to IMPI, Grupo Modelo explained that Amstel Ultra copied several Michelob Ultra design elements, such as its white and silver background, the red color in one of its graphics, and the word “Ultra” in blue, which stands out as the predominant element in the general presentation of the product.

“Amstel Ultra”, a special light beer containing 35% fewer calories than regular lager beer, is produced, commercialized and distributed in Mexico by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery/Heineken Mexico, a subsidiary of Dutch brewery Amstel Bruwerij. After resolving the cautionary measures that took place to seize Amstel Ultra products, the company assured in a press release its “total compliance with the law” and its collaboration to “grant all the needed information that authorities request”. 

According to IMPI’s director, Miguel Ángel Margáin, the IP Office is still recollecting evidence to solve this matter.

By Becerril, Coca & Becerril, S.C. - 24/09/2018
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