Another intellectual property dispute has arisen in the brewing industry. This time, however, the battle took place on Canadian soil. British Columbia based Pacific Western Brewing (“PWB”) sued renowned Mexican brewery Cerveceria del Pacifico (“CDP”), arguing the latter’s name was confusingly similar to PWB’s various brew-related trademarks. For those who do not know, Cerveceria del Pacifico is the brewery responsible for Cerveza Pacifico Clara, better known as Pacifico. Although the claim concerns numerous PWB marks, the lawsuit seems to center on the alleged similarity between their Pacific Pilsner marks and CDP’s Pacifico marks. After analyzing the merits of this case, I cannot understand why PWB felt the need to pursue this lawsuit. Aside from both marks generally using the word “Pacific,” the marks are vastly different.
First, Cerveza Pacifico Clara is clearly distinct from Pacific Pilsner. Even if you compare the commonly used name Pacifico to Pacific Pilsner, the marks are distinguishable, albeit slightly more similar. Further, the respective design marks are distinct. Pacifico’s mark is generally presented against a bright yellow background with the words appearing in red and a different shade of yellow. The logo also features a lifesaver encompassing a hill with the port city of Mazatlan’s lighthouse hill, known locally as Cerro Del Creston. In contrast, Pacific Pilsner’s mark is generally presented against a white background with the words appearing in red and iridescent blue. Although the PWB designs vary slightly, they consistently include a sailboat. Based on these descriptions, it should be clear that the marks are patently distinguishable.