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SOUTH AFRICA: SABMiller back in court

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SABMiller is back in court to protect one of its beer brands from a small T-shirt company. After a court ruled in favour of the brewer against the company, called Laugh It Off, last year, the T-shirt company appealed the ruling and this week began an application in the Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeals to have the decision overturned.

Laugh It Off, regarded by some as the champions of post-apartheid South Africa's free speech laws, had initially been found guilty of abusing the logo of SABMiller's Carling Black Label beer by using it on a T-shirt along with the words: "White Labour, Black Guilt."

Although a lawyer for the brewer said that sales of the brand had not suffered, the court was legally obliged to protect its brand, which it said was being exploited by Laugh It Off.

Speaking to Reuters yesterday, Laugh It Off's co-owner Justin Nurse said: "I think that we are selling social commentary and they're selling beers. We should be allowed to get on with what we're doing and they should get on with getting people drunk."

Reuters said it could not reach SABMiller officials for comment.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller

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