Agreement on beer cans after litigation on the copyright
Finally, after several months of litigation on the copyright related to the design of cans and bottles, Oettinger will be able to continue to use the trademark “5,O original” to sell its beers, thanks to an agreement reached with the design studio Feldmann und Schultchen (hereinafter “Feldmann”), the author of said designs.
The curious aspect of this case is the circumstance that the design at issue was not originally developed for Oettinger, but for Feldsschlösschen-Brauerei (at that time belonging to Carlsberg group) who intended to launch this new product to compete directly with the German brewery.
However, in 2009, Feldsschlösschen-Brauerei was bought by Oettinger. The problem was, according to Feldmann, that such acquisition could not have included the design itself because they had expressly reserved their right to authorize any assignment of design to third parties.
Last year, Feldmann went to Court in Germany (Hamburg) and the matter appeared to become serious since the Court, in exchange for a € 50 million bond, issued an injunction prohibiting Oettinger from selling beers in those cans and bottles created by Feldmeann, presumably because of the existence of a reasonable ground for suspecting a copyright infringement.
However, aside of the lawsuit that had just begun, the parties were seeking and negotiating a friendly settlement of the matter that they eventually found.