A-B InBev is hoping to settle the trademark issue through  talks with Belleville

A-B InBev is hoping to settle the trademark issue through talks with Belleville

Anheuser-Busch InBev says it is negotiating with a London microbrewer after a trademark dispute sparked controversy. 

The Budweiser brewer is concerned that Wandsworth-based Belleville Brewing Co's brands will be confused with its Belgian fruit-flavoured beer Belle-Vue. Lawyers hired by A-B InBev sent a cease-and-desist letter to Belleville last month. 

After the move attracted controversy, A-B InBev said in a statement to just-drinks yesterday (12 June): "We are in discussion with the Belleville Brewing Company about our existing trademark registration for Belle-Vue."

It added: "We believe in a vibrant and healthy beer industry and are talking to Belleville about how they can continue to sell and market their beer without diluting our trademark rights."

But Adrian Thomas, joint-owner of Belleville, which only began brewing in February, told just-drinks today: "I want to keep the name and carry on. The ball is very much in their (A-B InBev's) court. It's up to them to come up with some kind of solution.

"I'd also like them to say sorry for being so heavy-handed."

However, Thomas admitted he may be forced to change the name to Northcote, a famous market and shopping area near to the brewery.

He added: "World domination is not on my agenda. I don't want to be more than a ten-barrel operation, brewing more than twice a week." 

A-B InBev's actions were initially reported in UK newspaper The Mail on Sunday