Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Welsh brewery spends nearly £10,000 in battle with clothing giant over name

Multi-award winning brewery Boss Brewing is based in Swansea Credit: ITV Wales

A Welsh brewery has been forced to spend nearly £10,000 defending itself against clothing giant Hugo Boss in a row over its name.

Multi-award winning brewery Boss Brewing, which is based in Swansea, applied to own the trademark of its name.

It is a procedure which should usually cost around £300 but after a four month legal battle with the retail chain, the company have forked out nearly £10,000 in solicitors' fees.

Hugo Boss issued a cease and desist letter to the brewery Credit: ITV Wales

Hugo Boss, which had a net income of €236 million in 2018, issued a cease and desist letter to the brewery to try and stop it using the trade name.

''We had a letter from Hugo Boss saying we had to stop using it immediately,'' Sarah said.

''They were adamant they wanted to stop the name. They have got the Boss trademark in most areas but they have not got it in alcohol.''

After months of negotiations, it was resolved that the names of their award-winning beer Boss Black and Boss Boss would have to change.

''We were going back and forth with solicitors,'' Sarah said.

''I was determined and not willing to change it. But we had advice that discussions were as good as they were going to get.''

A spokesperson for Hugo Boss said the company wanted to avoid misunderstanding with brands which are their longstanding trademarks.

Following the brewery’s application to register a trade mark, we approached them regarding the use of BOSS in relation to two beer names in the portfolio. This was to avoid conflict and potential misunderstanding regarding the brands BOSS and BOSS Black, which had been used by the brewery but are (longstanding) trademarks of our company.

The discussions clarified the situation in respect of these two brands as well as in relation to textile merchandising for the future. The brewery is able to proceed with the majority of their products without impact on their current branding.

– Hugo Boss spokesperson