This Bud’s Not For You, Says TTAB To Vintner
October 21, 2015
An Australian company lost its bid for the trademark WINEBUD, after being opposed by Anheuser-Busch, which successfully argued there was the potential for confusion with its marks based on variations of the Budweiser name. The applicant had argued before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that the marks were different in numerous respects, including “commercial impression” and because the term “vine bud” is recognized in the field of viticulture, explain Knobbe Martens attorneys. The fact that AB was not in the wine business, according to the TTAB, was irrelevant: The relevant question was whether purchasers seeing the the “BUD” mark would think it was. In a second case discussed in this issue of the law firm’s monthly Trademark Review, one Jack Wolfskin had better luck registering his mark, in this case a “paw” logo for a line of clothing, even though he had been challenged by another more established clothier whose logo also includes a paw mark. The takeaway in that case, which went to the Federal Circuit on appeal, seems to be that words, image and context all need to be considered when it comes to establishing the validity of a trademark.
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