Bullards was established in 1837. It originally made beer and imported sprits and wine. Watneys brewery took over Bullards in in 1963. In 2015 the Bullards name came back when the Norwich based business decided to focus on gin. Red Bull is an Austrian business which was established in in 1987.
Bullards applied to the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office to register the mark ‘Bullards’. Red Bull has opposed the mark claiming that there is a ‘likelihood of confusion’ due to both marks including the word ‘bull’.
Red Bull stated it was ‘prepared to resolve this dispute’ as long as Bullards commit to never producing soft drinks, energy drinks, or doing events using the mark.
The boss of Bullards, Russell Evans stated that what Red Bull is claiming ‘is ludicrous, there is no confusion whatsoever’. Evans stated that Bullards are planning on doing soft drinks as it intends to also make tonics to accompany the gin. Evans also stated that Bullards was prepared to go to court to resolve the matter.
This is not the first time Red Bull has challenged a Norwich based brewery. In 2013 Red Bull threatened legal action against Redwell Brewing due to its name including the word ‘Red’. However, it has been reported that Red Bull has backed down.