In the middle of the old town, on the Platzl, there is a Hofbräuhaus in Munich. And that since anno domini 1607. Today the mugs fly in the branches in Las Vegas as well as in China or in the Brazilian Belo Horizonte. Hofbräu exports its beer to more than 40 countries around the world. And if a businessman dares to try to use the Hofbräuhaus or Hofbräu brand name in this way or in a similar form, the people of Munich get dead serious. Just like now with a beer that should bear the name “Dresdner Hofbrauhaus”. After all attempts at agreement swam down the Isar, the two parties will soon have to meet in front of the Kadi.
“I don’t understand all the excitement,” explains John Scheller in broad Saxon. The Dresdener runs several Edeka markets in his city. Also on Hamburger Strasse, where the Dresden Hofbrauhaus used to be. The was licensed in 1731 and was owned by Duke Augustus of Saxony. Around 1870, the “Hofbrauhaus Aktienbrauerei” was entered in the commercial register. But in 1921 the inn and brewery fell into a deep sleep and the name disappeared. Until almost 100 years later, a prince named John Scheller appeared and kissed the brand awake again.
“We value history,” says Scheller. In the Edeka store, for example, the brewery’s old fountain, which Scheller had uncovered, is covered under a glass plate. “We just want to do something for the people in the area.” In addition, there was also the historical recipe with which the beer was once brewed. And so the idea was born to brew the beer and sell it in the Edeka markets. “We have a registered patent,” assures the Dresden native, “a word and figurative mark.” He also believes that the expression “Hofbrauhaus” is colloquial and cannot be protected at all.
But the trademark lawyers and domain observers of the Munich Hofbräuhaus watch over the market with its beer brand Hofbräu and the abbreviation HB, with a crown on top. In 1879 the brand was registered with the Imperial Patent Office. And with “äu” just as much as with “au”https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/.”Americans, for example, can’t pronounce an äu, it’s called Hofbrauhaus,” explains press spokesman Stefan Hempl.
And in the interests of their franchisees, who have to pay for the brand name, they check the competition in Munich for the right choice of letters. And it’s not just about the beer and the pub. Merchandising products from felt hats to rubber ducks with the HB logo also need to be protected. “We’re very successful, and there are people who want to get involved,” says Hempl. With regard to Dresden, he says: “We have the older rights.” And in Dresden the name had not been used for almost 100 years.
The Hofbräuhaus has often taken action against the economy
It is not the first time that the Hofbräuhaus has defended its name. In Solln, for example, an inn had to be renamed in 2020 because it was called “Hofbrauhaus-Stub’n”, and in the end the “Hof” in the name fell under the inn table. In 2018, the “Aschersleber Hofbräu” in Saxony-Anhalt had to hang its sign from the nail, even though the brewery brought a maximum of 1000 liters per year to the people at home.
The appointment before the Munich district court scheduled for last week had to be postponed due to a positive corona test by one of the participants. “We take action against everyone to protect our partners,” says Hofbräu spokesman Hempl. “I’m not a free rider, I don’t let myself be intimidated,” says John Scheller. The civil court will have the last word in February.