Fighting beersSpirits of Sri Lanka is a brewer and seller of locally manufactured beer in Sri Lanka and leader in the field.It’s general brand name is “SOS” .It sells a brand of beer under the name “Extra Special Beer” with adistinctive mark and a get up. This mark is registered in September 2009 under the Intellectual PropertyAct No 36 of 2003(IPA).In the registered trade mark- Their general band “SOS”, Extra Special Beer, and a tough macho manholding a glass of beer is found in the label.They have carried out extensive promotional campaign and have established the product very well inthe target market. This beer was intended to take a major component of the market share of the hardalcohol market in Sri Lanka ( Arrack). Within few years it reached its target and 10% of the Arrackconsumers shifted to this “Extra Special Beer” as it contained more than 8% of alcohol as against thestandard beers that had less than 4% alcohol content.Power of Sri Lanka, a recently established brewing company also introduced a beer under the samename “Extra Special Beer” with their own general brand “POS”.In the registered trade mark- Their general brand “POS” Extra Special Beer, and a macho man showingthumbs up sign was found in the label.As a result, SOS is contemplating filing a case against “POS” for the following 1. POS is infringing the SOS’s right as the registered trade mark owner. 2. POS is guilty of unfair competition within the meaning of section 160 of the IPAHowever, the cost of litigation would be expensive and time consuming. Therefore, a meeting wasconvened by the Managing Director of SOS to have an initial discussion of the possibility of suing SOSsuccessfully.The Managing Director says that this is brand name that we developed with a specific target customer inmind and have spent millions in promoting. We just can’t give the benefit of our brand name to anothernew comer who had not spent a cent in developing the brand. He is also using a tough macho characterthat we used in the logo although the man looks different. It is misleading and common man will buytheir product assuming it is our product. It is an act of competition contrary to honest trade practices.We cannot allow this to go on and observe that our market is penetrated by a new comer. We are thecreator of this brand we need to have the exclusive right to use.On the other hand the view point of the Marketing Manager is that it could be a tough legal battle as“Extra Special Beer” could be classified description of the goods and it could be argued that no personcan claim exclusive right to the use of such words. He specifically refers to sec 103 (1) b of the IPA.
1. Task one- develop an argument in support of Managing Director2. Task two- develop an argument in support of marketing Manager