Anheuser-Busch filed two motions Tuesday night in its ongoing lawsuit with MillerCoors in an effort to unseal its heavily redacted counterclaim accusing its top competitor of stealing its trade secrets and receive a summary judgement.
“As we said last week, the discovery process in this litigation has been enlightening, as it revealed the root of our allegation that MillerCoors misappropriated our trade secrets, which MillerCoors has not denied,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement.
In a counterclaim filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin last week, Anheuser-Busch alleged that two former employees who now work for MillerCoors and its parent company Molson Coors had either revealed trade secrets to their current employer or received confidential information from current Anheuser-Busch employees regarding the recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.
Anheuser-Busch had asked MillerCoors to unseal its heavily redacted 66-page counterclaim from last week. When that request was rebuffed, Anheuser-Busch asked the court to unseal the document. A hearing on the motion to unseal is scheduled for next Thursday.
The legal battle began in March, when MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch in federal court for deceptive advertising related to the Bud Light Super Bowl commercials calling out the use of corn syrup in Miller Lite and Coors Light. MillerCoors has said corn syrup is used in the brewing of Miller Lite and Coors Light, but is not included in the final product. Anheuser-Busch claimed that it has tested both beers and “confirmed that corn syrup is in the finished” products of both beers, the company said in a statement.
In light of this information, Anheuser-Busch has filed a motion requesting summary judgement for the case to be decided without proceeding to trial.
“MillerCoors original case is completely without merit and should be decided in our favor. MillerCoors may not have liked the ads but the campaign was not misleading,” Anheuser-Busch said in its statement.
District Judge William M. Conley issued a preliminary injunction today that upholds previous rulings that bar Anheuser-Busch from using “no corn syrup” and its related icon on its packaging or making various references to corn syrup, Miller Lite or Coors Light in commercials, print ads and on social media.
In a statement, MillerCoors said:
“Today’s action by the court once again forces Anheuser Busch to change the Bud Light packaging, bars them from running some of the Bud Light TV ads, bars them from erecting some of the Bud Light billboards and bars some of their social media posts. We have won three major rulings in this case already, and we are going to continue holding Anheuser Busch accountable for intentionally misleading American consumers.”