NIGERIA – Golden Guinea Breweries, the Eagle Stout maker that is set to re-enter the Nigerian market next month has filed a lawsuit at the federal high court accusing Pabod Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of AB InBev of trademark infringement.
Golden Guinea is seeking N10 billion in general damages from Pabod who are said be producing its icon lager beer brand, Eagle Stout, reported Beverage Industry news.
The case which was first filed in 2016, is set to be heard on 24 October 2018 after the court summoned the Trade Mark Registry for examination.
According to Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, it is the rightful owner of the trademark “Eagle Stout” registered as No. 21153 in class 32 at the Nigerian Trademarks Registry Abuja thus the company is entitled to the exclusive use of the mark for the production sale and distribution of the product in the Nigerian market.
It is seeking additional N10m in aggravated damages and the filing wants the court to restrain Pabod Breweries from producing, importing selling, or offering for sale or supplying products known as “Eagle Stout” pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The lawsuit wants the court to terminate all marks upon oat, all containers, cartons, show cards, display matter, signboards, advertisements, circulars, note papers, business cards, letter heads, stationary, labels, wrappers, photocopies or other printed materials or other products, papers or marked articles bearing the market/name “Eagle Stout” in the possession/custody or control of Pabod Breweries.
Market risk for AB InBev transaction
Some sources quoted by Beverage Industry news claim that the case, which is yet to be determined may mean a market risk for AB InBev transaction.
Before the October 2016 SABMiller-AB InBev merger, Pabod Breweries Limited was one of the three brewing companies in Nigeria owned by SABMiller.
The followed a merger of the three companies including International Breweries plc and Intafact Beverages Limited in December 2017, to form a consolidated entity with the name International Breweries Plc.
A statement from the current owners of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, Pan Marine Investment Limited said, “We have it in good authority that SABMiller did not declare this court case to AB InBev.
I remember that in 2016 we shut down their operations in Port Harcourt for two days based on court order.
The records and pictures are there in the court”.