from nonsense depth

There must be something about being an energy drink company that turns you into a trademark poop bully sandwich. The stories about Monster Energy, for example, are absolutely legendary and legion. Meanwhile, Red Bull, the other big player in the energy drink space, has far fewer damning posts than us, but there are still a few.

Bullards is a distillery that makes a variety of drinks and is best known for its gin. Just over a year ago, the company found that a trademark application for its name was being opposed in the UK by Red Bull. The energy drink maker claims there will be public confusion due to the similarity of the names “Red Bull” and “Bullards”. You know… because the letters “bull” appear in both names, apparently. Bullards hit back considering Red Bull’s argument is so painfully idiotic. It should be noted that no brand is similar between the two brands, nor do they play in the same market. However, Bullards requested that the trademark cover two categories that Red Bull wanted to eliminate: energy drinks and events.

Fortunately, the UKIPO finally ruled on the opposition, finding all for Bullards and against Red Bull.

A hearing ruled that Red Bull’s opposition to the trademark application failed. Alan James, a senior hearing officer at the UK Intellectual Property Office, wrote as part of his decision: “Bullards is in no way a logical extension of the Red Bull brand.”

It’s also worth noting here that Bullards has been around since 1837 and while the distillery hasn’t branded itself as ‘Bullards’ all that time, that was the original name and the name was revived for use as of 2015. In other words, the public seemed completely unfazed by the name for some time, possibly due to the company’s literally nearly two-century history.

Bullards’ Russell Evans commented on the inclusion of energy drinks in the trademark application, basically stating that there are no real plans for energy drinks at the moment, but he is fighting for it and for the event category in general.

He said Bullards didn’t want to do energy drinks, but Red Bull “also wanted us to stop doing soft drinks, which we do, and they also wanted us to stop doing events, which is ridiculous. My point was that even though we don’t want to do energy drinks, I didn’t want to concede to them the fact that they have the right to do it and we don’t,” he said. “It just begs the question of why they think they can do things like that when all they did was start something that’s now been scrapped but cost me £30,000 to protect.”

They can, because that’s how trademark harassment works, and there aren’t nearly enough consequences imposed to dissuade trademark harassers like Red Bull from behaving this way. This has to change.

Filed Under: trademark, ukipo

Companies: Bullards, red blvd

Red Bull Loses To Bullards, A Gin Maker, Over Trademark Opposition