friday, 18 october of 2019


Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch accuses MillerCoors of stealing its beer recipes

In the latest escalation of the legal battle between Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, the Bud Light brewer is accusing its rival of stealing secret recipes for its beers, including Michelob Ultra and Bud Light.

MillerCoors, the U.S. subsidiary of Molson Coors, first filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch in March after its rival aired a Super Bowl commercial that shamed Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup. In September, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Anheuser-Busch, preventing the beer giant from claiming that its own products have "no corn syrup."

In a redacted counterclaim filed Thursday, Anheuser-Busch alleges that a former employee who now works at a MillerCoors brewery in Colorado was obtaining information from current Anheuser-Busch employees who were violating confidentiality agreements in the days before and after the Super Bowl. Some of his questions involved the use of corn syrup in the brewing process, Anheuser-Busch claims in the filing.

Senior executives from MillerCoors were asking for the information, and CEO Gavin Hattersley was included on email chains about the findings, the filing alleges.

MillerCoors has also allegedly produced documents that show the recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra as part of its ongoing case against Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch believes that those recipes were print-outs of screen shots that were folded up, taken out of its brewery and send via text.

Anheuser-Busch called these recipes "extraordinarily valuable" in the filing, citing Bud Light’s status as the best-selling beer in the U.S. and Michelob Ultra’s as the fastest growing.

"We will enforce our right to uncover how high up this may reach in the MillerCoors organization," Anheuser-Busch said in a statement. "We take our trade secrets seriously and will protect them to the fullest extent of the law."

MillerCoors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Published by CNBC, October 18, 2019)

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