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Modelo Mocks Corona Hard Seltzer as Sugar Water With Flash of White Claw in SDNY Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 1 – Modelo's lawsuit against Constellation for using its Corona mark on Corona Hard Seltzer had opening arguments in March 1, 2023. Inner City Press was there.  

 Modelo's counsel put two glasses of beer, and one of the seltzer he called "sugar water," on a white fold up table in front of the jurors.  On the screen he put the licensing agreement with its savings clause. "With two lawyers on the jury," he said, "you'll know what a savings clause is."

   He also showed slides of a duck and an airplane, saying that one is not a "version" of the other; he said anyone would protest if served chicken as Peking Duck.

   U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Louis A. Kaplan, who also has the US v. Bankman-Fried case among others, studied the slides along with the jurors. 

  The relatively short history of hard seltzer was the topic of another slide: from Spiked Seltzer to Truly then the peak (or trough) of White Claw. (Former SDNY US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in his book "Holding the Line" mocks the White Claws drunk by younger AUSAs; review here.)

 Modelo's counsel said, You will hear from Constellation's chief legal officer, he's here in the courtroom, there in the back with the open collar.  

  Yes, he will be heard from. 

More with analysis on Substack here

 The case is Cerveceria Modelo de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. v. CB Brand Strategies, LLC et al., 21-cv-1317 (Kaplan)


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