Source: Anheuser-Busch InBev
In the latest escalation of the legal battle between Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, the Bud Light brewer accuses his rival of stealing secret recipes for their beers, including Michelob Ultra and Bud Light .
MillerCoors, the US subsidiary of Molson Coors, first filed lawsuits against Anheuser-Busch in March after its rival sent 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 its own products have "no corn syrup."
In a converted counterclaim filed Thursday, Anheuser-Busch claims that a former employee who now works at a MillerCoors brewery in Colorado obtained information from current Anheuser-Busch employees who broke confidentiality agreements in the days before and after the Super Bowl. Some of his questions were about the use of corn syrup in the brewing process, claims Anheuser-Busch in the filing.
Senior executives from MillerCoors requested the information, and CEO Gavin Hattersley was included in the email chains about the findings, filing allegations.
MillerCoors also allegedly produced documents showing the recipes of Bud Light and Michelob Ultra as part of the ongoing lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch believes that these recipes were screen prints that were folded up, taken out of the brewery and sent via text.
Anheuser-Busch's submission called these recipes "extraordinarily valuable", citing Bud Light's status as the best-selling beer in the United States and Michelob Ultra as the fastest growing.
"We will enforce our right to disclose how high this can be raised in the MillerCoors organization," Anheuser-Busch said in a statement. "We take our business secrets seriously and want to protect them to the fullest extent of the law."
MillerCoor's spokesman Adam Collins said in a statement that Anheuser-Busch has lost three rulings in the case and is trying to distract from the fact that they misled American consumers.
"MillerCoors respects confidential information and takes any opposing charges seriously, but if the ingredients are a secret, why did they spend tens of millions of dollars to tell the world what's in Bud Light? And why the ingredients printed on the packaging of the packaging in giant letters? "Collins said.