In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., last Monday my husband and I found ourselves with three glorious hours to kill midday, while our daughter visited a friend. We could have cleaned out the garage, but instead we went to lunch at a new-ish bar and grill which prides itself on serving over 100 beers on tap. As I perused the vast beer menu, I was struck by the creativity (and in some cases absurdity) of the names these breweries had invented for their ambers and ales. There were a few that were a bit embarrassing (“Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale?” Seriously, I don’t think I can ask for that without blushing, so it better be good). Some made me laugh out loud (I thought “Unibroue Ephemere Cassis” was hysterically punny, until I learned that “Unibroue” is the actual name of the Quebec-based brewery). Few names were conventional and many were downright clever.
I knew vaguely about the ancient and globe-spanning trademark dispute between American brewer Anheuser-Busch and the Czech beer producer Budejovicky Budvar over the right to use the trademarked name “Budweiser” — a battle which has been brewing since 1870. But with so many beers and so many creative names and logos, I wondered, as even slightly tipsy lawyers tend to do, how often breweries found themselves in a legal kerfuffle over their beloved (and lucrative) alcoholic beverages. Aren’t these guys supposed to be mellow and laid back (well, except, perhaps, for the guys who make Arrogant Bastard Ale)? They make beer, for Pete’s sake.
Well, it turns out that brewers stir up litigation more often than you might think.
Please see full article below for more information.
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