Munich's Hofbräuhaus takes Dresden's Hofbrauhaus to court
Munich's Hofbräuhaus is involved in a legal battle with the Dresden-based brand Hofbrauhaus, expressing concerns that customers could get confused between the two. The legal battle has been going on for quite some time already, but the court will finally make a ruling in the coming weeks.
Legal battle between Munich and Dresden’s businesses is heating up
The Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in Munich has been attempting to take legal action against the Dresden brand for a decade already, with the reason being that they are concerned about the similarity of the names of the two businesses - which both operate beer halls and produce German beer.
“The confusion of the name is one hundred percent a risk, especially in the international arena. There we are called Hofbrauhaus,” explained Hofbräu spokesperson Stefan Hempl. The concern is indeed legitimate, since in many languages there is no equivalent of the German umlaut for the sound “äu”, and thus many people who have never had a German lesson end up pronouncing “Hofbräuhaus” and “Hofbrauhaus” the same way.
Others using the name pay the Hofbräuhaus in Munich
The Munich Hofbräuhaus, founded by Duke Wilhelm V, has been around since 1589, and filed for its original patent in 1879. While there are other operations using the Hofbräuhaus name across the world in places such as China and Brazil, these firms pay the Hofbräuhaus in Munich directly, for the privilege of being allowed to use the name.
The Munich Hofbräuhaus applied already to have the Dresden Hofbrauhaus’s trademark removed, but this was declined by the court. Since Hofbräuhaus's initial objection to the Hofbrauhaus's trademark application was unsuccessful, the Munich-based company is now demanding that the Dresden trademark be removed by means of a lawsuit. "We have to defend our brand," maintained Hempl.