Labatt wins patent

Labatt Brewing has won a patent for its ice brewing process, the specialized brewing procedure it uses to make Labatt Ice Beer, from the u.s. Patent and Trademark Office.The Trademark Office ruling, announced April 19, gives Labatt legal exclusivity to use...

Labatt Brewing has won a patent for its ice brewing process, the specialized brewing procedure it uses to make Labatt Ice Beer, from the u.s. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Trademark Office ruling, announced April 19, gives Labatt legal exclusivity to use the patented process in the u.s. (Labatt has yet to get a ruling in Canada and 70 other countries, where it is also seeking ice brewing patents.)

On the same day the u.s. patent was granted, Labatt launched a patent infringement action in a Michigan courthouse against five defendents: Molson Breweries, Molson Breweries of Canada, Molson Breweries U.S.A., Miller Brewing and Martlet Importing, a Miller-owned distribution company that imports Molson products from Canada into the u.s.

Jim Emmerton, vice-president and general council for John Labatt, says Labatt is seeking to prevent Molson and Miller from infringing on its ice brewing process for the 17-year life of the patent.

Emmerton also says Labatt will also seek damages.

John Macera, a lawyer with the Ottawa law firm Macera & Jarzyna, which works on trademark and patent issues for Molson, says Molson welcomes the patent ruling.

Macera says Molson intends to challenge the ruling with the intention of convincing the u.s. Trademark Office the patent is invalid.