All clear for Edinburgh beer.. made in Dunbar

A BREWER has won the legal right to use the word "Edinburgh" on its beer, despite a rival's complaint it is brewed in Dunbar.

The Caledonian Brewing Company challenged the Edinburgh Brewing Company's right to trademark the "Edinburgh Pale Ale" name. Although based in Polwarth Crescent, the company's beer is brewed at the Belhaven plant in Dunbar.

Caledonian, based on Slateford Road, argued that as their rival's beer was produced in East Lothian the name was "misleading". They also claimed that the use of the name "Edinburgh" would result in it benefiting from the reputation Caledonian had established with the "Edinburgh Strong Ale" brand and could also block any move by them to register that name as a trade mark.

And it said one of the directors of Edinburgh, Russell Sharp, previously worked for Caledonian and knew they already used the "Edinburgh Strong Ale" name.

However, trademark registry judge George W Salter rejected the objections and ordered Caledonian to pay 800 towards costs run up by the Edinburgh Brewing Company in the legal battle.

He said: "There is clearly a similarity between the marks of the two parties." But he added: "In my opinion, the differences between the marks are more than enough to prevent members of the relevant public, adults over the age of 18 from being led to believe that the goods offered by the applicant (Edinburgh) are goods of the opponent or that the businesses are connected."

And as far as the objections on the basis that Edinburgh's beer is brewed in Dunbar were concerned he said: "I do not consider that the public would be deceived as to the geographical origin of the goods and so dismiss the objection."

He said that as a result of his findings in respect of the differences between the two names he was satisfied there "would be no misrepresentation" if Edinburgh used the name.

Mr Sharp, who founded Caledonian before it was sold to Scottish & Newcastle, welcomed the decision.

He said: "We, Edinburgh Brewing Company, registered the name Edinburgh Pale Ale to which Caledonian, in their wisdom, objected. We had to go through the process proving we were right to register the name Edinburgh Pale Ale and that has been confirmed by the Trademark Authority.

"It has nothing to do with me working there previously. It is a fairly straightforward case. There was no dubiety about us using it because it doesn't conflict with anything Caledonian are doing.

"The Trademark Authority has ruled that we are within our rights to have a brand called Edinburgh Pale Ale. I think it is a good decision that shows fairness."

He added: "Edinburgh Strong Ale is not the same as Edinburgh Pale Ale. Edinburgh Strong Ale is something like 6.7 per cent alcohol and Edinburgh Pale Ale is 3.4 per cent. It's quite a different beer."

A Caledonian spokesman: "We are the last brewery in Edinburgh and therefore we do not want anybody to get confused with the Edinburgh Brewing Company, which brews in Dunbar.

"To call yourself the Edinburgh Brewing Company when you do not brew in Edinburgh was worth a crack in front of a judge from a basic trademark description perspective. The second part is if somebody goes into a pub and says they are from the Edinburgh Brewing Company, it is logical for the pub to come to the conclusion that it is them who are the only brewery."

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