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Mercedes-Benz opposes microbrewery’s three-pointed star logo

A microbrewery in a Sunderland pub has been hit with opposition to its three-pointed star logo by car giant Mercedes-Benz.

The Wear Beer logo, which only launched last month, has been opposed by Mercedes-Benz due to its similarities to the infamous vehicle manufacturer’s own branding.

Launched by Spanish-born entrepreneur Julio Romero Johnson, the brewery operates in a cellar beneath the Ship Isis in the town centre of Sunderland.

The brewery’s logo is based on a worm moving around a three-pointed red star, which represents the international brigades that fought fascism in the 1930s civil war in his home country.

Johnson discovered the opposition to his design after trying to register it with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office, describing the move as surprising and bewildering.

Johnson, who said he drives a Peugeot, also told the Daily Mail that he had now decided to abandon registering the new logo, but will keep using it unless Mercedes issue a cease and desist notice.

He said: “They’re a massive company which, as far as I know, doesn’t sell any kind of beer. Do they have to go to this extreme?

“It’s very annoying but I haven’t the money to cover the solicitor’s bills if I was to continue with the application and lose.”

A spokesman for the IPO said it received a Notice of Threatened Opposition from Mercedes-Benz Group on September 21, with Mr Romero Johnson withdrawing his application on October 20.

A Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman told the Mail: “Mr Romero Johnson withdrew his trade mark application before we had the opportunity to respond to him and at no stage did we threaten him with costs. As far as we are concerned the matter is now closed.’

Johnson said he now intends to write to Mercedes through its solicitors, and said the letter will express doubts that consumers would be confused by the two logos and organisations.

He said: “Stars are quite common on brewery logos. There is also a link between Spain and Sunderland, through people from here who fought for the Republicans.”

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