Anheuser-Busch Claims Dilution of its Famous Natty Marks
In a bold move, Anheuser-Busch is also claiming that its “Natty” marks for beer are well-known and famous, and that the Applicant’s mark is likely to cause dilution by blurring of the Opposer’s famous marks in violation of 15 U.S.C. Section 1125(c). Under the applicable law, dilution by blurring is association arising from the similarity of a trademark with a famous trademark that impairs the distinctiveness of the famous mark. A trademark opposer must prove that the following elements, in their totality, are in its favor to prevail under the theory of dilution by blurring:
(i) The degree of similarity between the mark or trade name and the famous mark.
(ii) The degree of inherent or acquired distinctiveness of the famous mark.
(iii) The extent to which the owner of the famous mark is engaging in substantially exclusive use of the mark.
(iv) The degree of recognition of the famous mark.
(v) Whether the user of the mark or trade name intended to create an association with the famous mark.
(vi) Any actual association between the mark or trade name and the famous mark.
In support if its dilution claim, Anheuser-Busch claims that it has sold millions of dollars of Natty beers, and has also invested millions of dollars in marketing and promotions for products that incorporate its pleaded trademarks. The Applicant is also claiming that it adopted its “Natty” marks prior to the Applicant’s first use in 2004.
Applicant has not yet filed an answer and/or affirmative defenses to the allegations.