B.C. brewery facing "David and Goliath" lawsuit
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Tuesday, December 2, 2008 7:58PM PST
The head of a small B.C. brewery which is being sued by Sleeman over its bottle design, calls the struggle "a real David and Goliath story".
Aldergrove, B.C.-based Dead Frog Brewery president Derrick Smith says Sleeman claims ownership of his company's clear glass bottle design.
Smith says his company started selling bottles back in June, and was served with papers from Sleeman shortly after. He calls the lawsuit silly and a giant waste of time.
"We're talking about a $4.3 billion dollar beer empire going up against a guy who still drives his 2001 F-150," he says.
Smith says there are many clear glass bottles on the market and that there's no mistaking his bottle's embossed frog design.
"Everything about our company is different," says Smith. "Our marketing, our packaging and - most importantly - our bottles."
Dead Frog's lawyer Christopher Wilson has filed a statement of defence and a counterclaim.
The statement claims that Sleeman does not have a monopoly on clear glass bottles and that the public is not likely to confuse the two beers because of Dead Frog's name, slogans, and logo.
A Sleeman spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Dead Frog brewery sells its beers in about 300 locations across B.C. The company started in Aldergrove, B.C. less than two years ago, and is said to be growing in "leaps and bounds."
With files from The Canadian Press