Brewing giant Lion says it has withdrawn its trademark application for the word "dank".

The company caused a stir in the craft beer world last week with the move, which it said was in relation to a product it was developing.

It said the trademark application was aimed at stopping others from trying to copy its IP, not from using the term altogether.

"We recognise the application caused concern about the restrictions this would put on others, and as such we have chosen to withdraw the applications," the company said.


"Lion is passionate about the beer industry in NZ, and we take our role very seriously."

Traditionally a slang term for describing pungent marijuana, dank is now commonly used by craft brewers to describe strong, heavily-hopped ales.

Not to be confused with the Kiwi slang term "dak", the original meaning of "dank" was simply something damp and musty.

Craft beer fans were up in arms when Lion's trademark application was posted on the Beertown Facebook page last week.

"Dank, dankier, dankiest. Lion is attempting to trademark DANK as a beer descriptor. Anyone think that's a bit rank?", the Beertown post said.

At the time, Lion confirmed that it was seeking the trademark for the term but reassured that it would not prevent other brewers from using the term.

"We have noticed some concern around Lion's trademark application for Dank," the company said.

"It is correct that we have applied to trademark Dank for possible use as a brand in a new beer range ... It's incorrect though, to say that by registering Dank, we're seeking to prevent the use of the word by other brewers."


It was standard practice in trademark law that even if the application was successful "any brewer currently using dank in their beer name would not be affected or forced to change, and dank could continue to be used to describe a beer style in the future", Lion said.

But the founder of brewery 8 Wired, Soren Eriksen, who recently launched a Superdank beer brand, said he had been sceptical.

Eriksen said he was concerned that Lion might get more restrictive about the use of the term in the future if the application had been successful.