I wonder how many prosecutions they started each year? It was certainly no challenge to find these examples in the newspaper archive.
"BASS'S BOTTLED ALES.
High Court Chancery Division to Saturday before Mr Eve an action Baas and Co., a perpetual injunction granted with costs against Richard Wilson, licensee the Black Swan Hotel, Coney Street, York, restraining him. his servants and agents from selling or offering for as "Bass" or "Bottled Bass," ale not of the plaintiff's manufacture."
Aberdeen Journal - Monday 16 June 1913, page 7.
I'd be interested to know when these forgeries ended. It must have been far easier in the past when there were many bottling on a tiny scale. Presumably buying in some cheap Pale Ale and sticking it into Bass bottles. I doubt many publicans woould have the eqiuipment or knowhow to biottle beer themselves today.
What I have wondered is whether any fakery goes on in modern beer geek circles. Faking Westvleteren wouldn't be hard, if you had some of their crown corks. Then there are those weird, short run, barrel-aged things - sucker juice, as Alan at A Good Beer Blog calls them. Has anyone faked those? If you had an empty bottle of the stuff, how hard would it be to fill it up again with something vaguely similar? Some of these beers are worth silly prices. Would it be so surprising if someone had spotted a way of earning some dishonest cash?
"Bass's Bottled Beer.Have you noticed the similar wording of the injunctions? "Bass" and "Bottle of Bass"or "Bottled Bass" seem to come up each time. No doubt their legal department worked fulltime chasing dodgy publicans.
In the Chancery Division in Dublin yesterday, an action, Bass, Ratcliff, and Gretton. Limited, v. Mrs Annie Hamilton, and Wilson's Court, Belfast, licensed victualler, an injunction was granted restraining the defendant from selling as "Bass" or "Bottle of Bass," ale not the plaintiff's manufacture.
The defendant was ordered to pay the costs of the action."
Aberdeen Evening Express - Tuesday 24 April 1917, page 2.
Note the date of the last two. WW I doesn't seem to have slowed down the fraudsters.
"BASS' BOTTLED BEER."
In the Sheriff Court Fife Kinross, Kirkcaldy yesterday, Andrew Stein, of the Railway Tavern, Buckhaven, was charged at the instance of Bass, Ratcliff, and Gretton, Ltd., with selling on the 13th and 18th April certain bottles of beer to which the trade mark of Bass, Ratcliff, and Gretton, Ltd., was falsely applied, contrary to the provisions the Merchandise Marks Act, 1887. The defendant was fined and ordered to pay expenses.
Aberdeen Journal - Thursday 28 June 1917, page 4.
"BASS'S BOTTLED BEER.We'll be returning to the Merchandise Marks Act, 1887. A piece of legislation in which Bass seem to have had a hand.
In the Sheriff Court at Dundee on the 10th inst. R. A. Wilson, Hawkhill, Dundee, was charged at the instance of Bass, Ratcliff, and Gretton, Ltd., with selling the 5th and 21st August, and the 6th September last, certain bottles of beer to which the trade mark of Bass, Ratcliff, and Gretton, Ltd., was falsely applied, contrary to the Provisions of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1887. The defendant pleaded guilty, and judgment was passed accordingly."
Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 15 October 1919, page 3.