Munich: Legal dispute over Spezi Limo before the district court – Munich

Paulaner wants the court to rule that his soda mix can continue to be called Spezi in the future. But Augusta’s Riegele Brewery has something against it – and an argument that could be worth millions of euros.

Soft drinks like Spezi have been competing with beer for a long time. This need not be a disadvantage for breweries, as the example of the Munich Paulaner Brewery Group shows. Now he sells more of his beer called Paulaner Spezi than Hacker-Pschorr Bräu beer, which also belongs to his empire. You can make good money with Spezi and Paulaner wants to keep doing it in the future. But due to the name Spezi, a dispute is currently underway with the private Riegele brewery in Augsburg. The judges of the 33rd civil chamber of the Munich I regional court have been handling the case since Tuesday.

The fact that Riegele above all is Paulaner’s opponent in the legal controversy is due to the fact that the Suebi invented Spezi. A master brewer from Riegele had the right nose in the 1950s. He worked on a cola, juice and soda recipe. “He lovingly calls his SPECIAL blend Spezi – Bavarian as a friend,” says the Augsburg brewery website. The astute Swabians had the name Spezi protected and immediately founded a “Spezi-Branded Drinks Association Germany eV”, which issues licenses for Spezi.

With its lawsuit, the Paulaner brewery now claims it has determined that it may continue to use the Spezi label for its mixed drink in the future. The people of Munich refer to an agreement reached with Riegele in 1974. In it, it is said that Paulaner could use the word Spezi for a non-alcoholic mixed drink. From Riegele’s point of view, however, today’s Paulaner brewery group is not the legal successor of Paulaner-Salvator Thomasbräu, with whom the Spezi agreement was once concluded. As a result, in May last year the Swabian Paulaner canceled the deal, which is now nearly 50 years old, and offered the Munich-based company to conclude a licensing agreement.

Paulaner currently produces 900,000 hectoliters of Spezi

This would be an extremely lucrative business for Riegele, as the numbers clarified by President Michaela Holzner in this context. Paulaner currently produces the gigantic amount of 900,000 hectoliters of its Spices. Riegele wants to take a substantial sip through a new licensing agreement with the Munich-based company, that is 4.5 to 5 million euros per year. The license agreement will be valid for ten years and must then be renegotiated. This idea upsets Paulaner.

When Judge Holzner began explaining his chamber’s preliminary assessment of the case, the Paulaner Brewery’s attorneys relaxed. According to the president, the actor may actually be Paulaner-Salvator Thomasbräu’s legal successor. In addition, the brewery paid a “one-time indemnity payment” of DM 10,000 for “use of their logo” for their friend. That’s why there are probably “difficulties with terminability”.

The judges asked the lawyers if a settlement was possible. Riegele’s rep explained that his client wanted a “fair deal”. Paulaner’s lawyer replied: “Nothing comes from nothing”. His client invests a lot of money in marketing and Riegele doesn’t have to share the success. Despite this announcement, both sides held exploratory talks outside the courtroom. Riegele’s lawyer then explained that they had received an offer that they first had to think about. The court will announce its decision on the Spezi case on August 30th.

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