Stone and Wood has lost an appeal against Melbourne-based Thunder Road Brewing Co, with the Federal Court deciding Monday morning that even though the hugely successful Stone & Wood Pacific Ale had a registered trade mark, the Thunder Road Pacific Ale launched in 2015 did not infringe that. The local brewer was also unsuccessful in its claims of misleading and deceptive conduct and ‘passing off’.
The judges commented, amongst other things, that the prominence of the ‘Stone & Wood’ logo on the label made it unlikely that consumers would order a product thinking it was the other. They also commented that ‘Pacific’ was a ‘descriptive’ word, and that those using descriptive words take the risk that others in the trade would use the same word descriptively and thus not distinguish the product.
The Stone & Wood product is made and bottled in the northern rivers; the Thunder Road product comes from Belgium.