May 26, 2020

Is There No Room for a Queen of Beer? re: Anheuser-Busch Trademark

Anheuser-Busch, LLC (“Anheuser-Busch”) is the leading brewer in the United States and holds about a 46% share of U.S. beer sales to retailers.  It has been using its well-known KING OF BEERS trademark for over sixty years and holds six trademark registrations that include KING OF BEERS.  With its long-term and widespread use of its KING OF BEERS mark, it can be argued that the KING OF BEERS brand has become part of American culture.

According to a recent trademark opposition filing by Anheuser-Busch, a new entrant into the beer business is causing confusion in the minds of consumers with its THE QUEEN OF BEER mark.  According to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, a trademark application for THE QUEEN OF BEER was filed in December 2014 and was quickly opposed by the KING OF BEERS, Anheuser-Busch.  The owner of THE QUEEN OF BEER, SHE Beverage Company, claims on its website that “The Queen of Beer” is the first and only beer created with women in mind and meets the discriminating tastes of female consumers.

In the opposition, Anheuser-Busch argues that THE QUEEN OF BEER is virtually identical to its KING OF BEERS marks.  Anheuser-Busch also states that KING OF BEERS is famous and THE QUEEN OF BEER mark will cause dilution, in addition to confusion in the marketplace.  SHE Beverage Company filed a motion to extend the deadline to respond to Anheuser-Busch’s notice of opposition, and appears to be preparing for battle.  It will be interesting to see who will prevail…the KING or the QUEEN.

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About this Author

Samantha A. Updegraff, Patent Attorney, Lewis and Roca Law firm

Samantha is a registered patent attorney in the firm’s Albuquerque office. She focuses on intellectual property and telecommunications/electric utility law.

Patent Practice. Samantha helps start-ups, small and large businesses, and individuals protect their inventions. She has drafted and/or prosecuted over 85 issued U.S. patents, and she has presented oral arguments to the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Her extensive patent practice experience includes filing international patent applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty...