To date DB has shown no intention of backing down. They haven’t really had much motivation either, they’ve not really been confronted with a firestorm of protest. Not unreasonably for a publicly listed company wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, market share and profit are what motivates DB. If SOBA’s call to boycott the DB brands worked and there was a widespread boycott, they would backdown quickly. But to the average beer drinker the issue of trademarking exotic syle names is a fairly abstract one, not like the practical issue of a brewery such as CUB-owned Cascade changing their bottle size but not the price of their beers. This eventually led to what, in corporate terms, was a grovelling apology. It was a boycott over 45ml of a fairly pedestrian beer but it worked because people personally felt it and responded to it.
Roger weighing in shows how important an issue it is and he shows how much bigger it is than being about one brewing company’s bottom line:
The issue is an important one at a time when there has been a great renewal of interest in traditional beer styles in Britain, Europe and the United States. India pale ales, porters, stouts, Pilseners and bocks are widely brewed again, bringing much-needed diversity to the beer scene.
This renewal of beer styles could be cruelly nipped in the bud if the likes of global brewing groups such as Asia Pacific use legal trademarks to force competitors out ofthe market.
I’m not sure what will take issue from the abstract to the practical for the average drinker, but hopefully the weight of Roger’s comments will go some way to doing so.