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Tequila's governing body vs. Heineken

By Dumont - 07/04/2020
Tequila's governing body vs. Heineken

Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), the country’s governing body overlooking tequila producers and the protection of the drink’s protected designation of origin, has initiated a lawsuit for unfair commercial practices and violation of the Industrial Property Law against Heineken Brouwerijen B.V., Heineken Nederland B.V and other companies related to Dutch brewing giant Heineken N.V. 

Based on international treaties between Mexico and the European Union, the CRT agues that Heineken commercializes in Mexico a beer with supposed “aroma and flavor” of tequila which does not comply with national official regulations NOM-006-SCFI-2012 and NMX-v-049-NORMEX-2004, regarding the labeling, designation and specifications for alcoholic beverages.

In the past the CRT has filed similar claims against Heineken. A May 2019 judgment from the Court of Amsterdam ruled that the beer company did not have to remove the indication Tequila from its Desperados products after the CRT stated that Heineken unjustly benefited from the trademark on Desperados bottles, a beer which contains 0.1 percent of tequila from a CRT certified producer.

“Despite the prominent use of the word Tequila on the front of the packaging and in advertisements, an attentive average consumer would understand that Tequila acts as a condiment in Desperados and that the percentage of Tequila in the beer is relatively low. No deception can therefore be established”, the decision stated.  

By Dumont - 07/04/2020
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