This is almost the opposite side of the coin compared to the minor Black Bitter dispute in the US. In the case of Black IPA or whatever it will end up being called, people have plenty of pet names and hope they might even have a style to match them up with. Conversely, beer fans in New Zealand are fighting in court to stop the trademarking of a word for beer from another culture - and a style that no one really likes or even associates with New Zealand:
If DB is allowed sole use of the term Radler, Soba argues, it may attempt to trademark others, preventing New Zealand's growing craft beer industry from using them. Mr Owen said it was unlikely that Radler was among the favourites of its members, who generally preferred fuller flavoured beverages. "No, probably not. It's basically a shandy," he said. "But this is a point of principle; we're not defending a style of beer that's one of our favourites but it's important because it is a style of beer and if we let this one go, then there's no reason why they won't try to take others."
The funniest thing, of course, is that a colonial culture like that of New Zealand could suggest that it is the source of a concept like a beer style at all. Maybe that argument does not play well amongst Kiwis. But, according to the article, the brain trust at this DB brewery also thought it owns rights to the concept of saison, a position that they seem to have backed away from. Cheeky Antipodeans
Does this matter? If they corner the market on Radler, shandy will still be made and called whatever people want to call it. If they attempted to trademark anything less obscure, the brewers and beer nerds of the world would oppose the registration now that the warning has been heard. So why fight? What principle is really at play?