Grupo Modelo, part of one of the biggest brewery in the world Anheuser-Busch InBev, has initiated a lawsuit against the US company Constellation Brands concerning the use of trademark CORONA.
As it is well-known, AB InBev took control over Grupo Modelo in 2013 including over the Corona brand, one of the most famous brands for beer in the world. Because of antitrust restrictions, however, AB InBev sold the US part of the Grupo Modelo business to Constellation Brands including the right for use of trademark CORONA for beer.
In 2020, Constellation launched its new product Corona Hard Seltzer that shortly took 6% market share.
According to Grupo Modelo, the fact that Constellation uses Corona for seltzer was against the license’s terms.
On the other hand, the US company stated that there was no violation of the agreement and the only reason for the lawsuit was an attempt by AB InBev to restrict its business as a competitor.
We are expecting to see what the result of this dispute will be. Nevertheless the case is indicative how important the precise wording and the scope of a trademark license agreement are. It is always recommendable all points to be discussed in-depth and carefully in order future misunderstanding to be avoided.