Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


DB awaits hearing on Radler trademark


3rd MAY 2011


DB Breweries (DB) will await the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand’s (IPONZ) decision before making any comments on a challenge by SOBA (Society of Beer Advocates) to have its 'Radler' trade mark revoked.

DB anticipates IPONZ will issue its decision next month following this week’s hearing.
DB is presenting its evidence this week detailing that it trademarked ‘Radler’ in 2003 in recognition of the financial investment it had made in the Monteith's 'Radler' brand at that time. That investment continues to be substantial with Monteith’s Radler one of the brand’s leading variants.

DB originally chose the name ‘Radler’ because it referred to an interesting but obscure story about an innkeeper in Bavaria. That story has always been acknowledged on Monteith's Radler labelling and marketing.

At the time (2001), the term Radler meant nothing to the average New Zealand consumer. A recent survey by DB, which forms part of their hearing evidence, shows the term simply means Monteith's Radler product to New Zealand consumers.

The term ‘Radler’ means "cyclist" in German. It is used in parts of Germany to refer to a beer mixed with lemonade. The most similar beverage in people’s minds in New Zealand at the time Monteith's Radler was first created, and indeed today, is a ‘Shandy’.

DB Breweries general manager marketing, Clare Morgan says Monteith’s was not attempting to make a ‘Shandy’ when it launched its new product. “Monteith’s wanted to introduce an appealing citrus-infused, fullstrength and full-flavoured beer to the New Zealand market which would fit well with the other Monteith’s variants. The name ‘Radler’ was chosen for this reason – Monteith’s wanted something distinct and interesting.”

DB’s registration of Radler as a trade mark means other local brewers cannot use the term ‘Radler’ in the New Zealand market. It doesn’t however stop other shandy or lemon or lime flavoured beverages being made by local brewers.

Ms Morgan says she is looking forward to the trademark issue being resolved and DB and Monteith’s returning its full focus to brewing and promoting great beer.


SOBA first challenged DB in 2009 regarding its trade mark after it was brought to DB’s attention that a Dunedin-based brewery (Green Man) had released a product called “Green Man Radler”.

DB’s lawyers, Simpson Grierson, wrote to Green Man asking them to respect its trade mark and cease
producing a beer called Radler.

The brewery responded that the product was only produced in small quantities as it was a seasonal release; that no more was in production, and that it did not intend to produce any more in the future. As a result, it said DB had little cause for concern and suggested an amicable solution could be reached.

Green Man agreed to place stickers on bottles it still had in stock by hand replacing the word Radler with the word ‘Cyclist’. Stock that was out in the market was permitted to be sold on the condition that Green Man did not challenge the trade mark or produce more stock.

DB did not ‘issue proceedings’ against Green Man Brewery Ltd (or threaten the company) as stated by SOBA.

It simply wrote asking them to cease using the term ‘Radler’, which Green Man agreed to do. It is standard business practice to protect a company’s trade mark.

By March 2009, the issue with Green Man Brewery was resolved through an exchange of letters between respective solicitors. Settlement was expressly based on, amongst other things, the following representations made by Green Man Brewery through its solicitors:

The Green Man “Radler” product had been produced in small quantities as a seasonal release and Green Man Brewery was not proposing to produce or market any further products using the "Radler" name.

It had sold almost all of its stock of the Green Man "Radler" product.

In April 2009, DB received notification from lawyers James and Wells that SOBA had applied to have the trade mark ‘Radler’ declared invalid with IPONZ. Nearly a year later SOBA filed its evidence; followed by DB's, including an evidential survey from independent research house, Colmar Brunton. SOBA then filed a lot of further evidence. DB has responded about some issues, although SOBA keeps trying to file more evidence.

Finally, the matter is ready to be considered by IPONZ. Throughout this time DB has undertaken the process SOBA initiated in good faith.

DB now looks forward to having this issue resolved. Throughout this process, sales of Monteith’s RADLER have grown considerably confirming the brand’s position as one of Monteith’s most popular beer variants and a firm favourite among Kiwis.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Transport: International Arrivals In May Lowest In 61 Years

The number of people that arrived in New Zealand in May 2020 was the lowest for any month since May 1959, because of COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions, Stats NZ said today. There were 5,600 arrivals in May 2020 compared with 4,700 in ... More>>


It’s All In The Genomes: New Study Reveals Scale Of Havelock North Campylobacteriosis Outbreak

When the campylobacteria outbreak hit Havelock North in 2016, no-one fully understood how widely it affected the local communities. Gene-sequencing technology used by scientists has shown the true scale of the outbreak. The joint study from ESR, Massey ... More>>


Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>


Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>


Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>


XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>


Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>


ASB: Regional Economic Scoreboard Q1 2020

ASB NZ Regional Economic Scoreboard Gisborne still the place to be It has been Gisborne’s year, and the region comes out tops on our regional rankings for the fourth successive quarter. Like everywhere, question marks are about the COVID-19 impact on the future. ... More>>

RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>


NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>


Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>


Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>

DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>