My Sol Mate is Better Than Your Sol Mate

Patent Lawyers Come on Down 

As reported in our Expo West coverage, NBN’s favorite product of the show was a terrific soda developed with several Canadian companies, including one of our favorite jam makers, Crofters. Sol Mate sparkling Yerba Mate is a staple of ours, at least when we can get our sweaty mate loving hands on some in these rural parts of Pennsylvania.

A few months later in Baltimore at Expo East we noticed what we thought was a new product from the Sol Mate folks, a ready to drink tea. Then we noticed the product literature was rather dull, nothing like the stuff we saw in Anaheim and began to ask the folks at the booth if they were the same company. Before I even finished my question they shook their heads and said “No, we’re not!”
Turned out this was another company, a new one and although the names were the same the products were very different and their lawyers were talking to figure out who patented the name first.

The tea folks, inspired people who left the safety of their corporate jobs to enter the beverage business (how’s that for crazy) hadn’t entered the market yet and were just launching at the show.
Billy Brown, one of the founders of the Sol Mate soda and a guy with many years of expertise in raw materials and a long love for Mate told me that the lawyers should have an agreement before Anaheim.

All this leaves us wondering if the first thing we do is drink all the mate or kill all the lawyers…mmm, maybe both or better yet just drink the mate. Cheers!


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