Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending September 27, 2019
In this week's post, we look at the suit filed by MillerCoors against Anheuser-Busch for illegal use of their trademarks and as well as deceptive advertising. The MillerCoors versus Anheuser-Busch deceptive advertising is the latest in battles between large companies over competition. This one is significant because the advertising campaign at issue played prominently in the 2019 Super Bowl.
Also, the $350 Billion patent infringement suit filed by Mers Kutt could be one of the largest in the history of the Eastern District of Texas. The lawsuit lists Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Google, JP Morgan & Chase, and many more.
MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch at Odds Regarding Corn Syrup in Beer
Beer giants and rivals MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch have been in court over the use of corn syrup in both manufacturing and advertising. While the dispute resulted from Anheuser-Busch’s high-profile advertising campaign, which aired during the Super Bowl and showcased a variety of several humorous commercials created by Anheuser-Busch to highlight MillerCoors’s alleged use of corn syrup in their beer, MillerCoors found it to be no laughing matter and sued Anheuser-Busch over illegal use of their trademarks as well as deceptive advertising.
The commercials, which show “deliveries” of corn syrup to MillerCoors for use in their beer, while pointing out that Bud Light does not use corn syrup in their beer, aired during the Super Bowl and received notable attention and some positive reviews by viewers. As the market that watches the Super Bowl and consumes beer obviously overlap, MillerCoors claims that Anheuser-Busch’s campaign was built upon deceptive advertising, illegal use of their trademarks, and was causing immediate harm to their MillerCoors’s brand. Specifically, MillerCoors claims that Anheuser-Busch’s advertising campaign deceptively preys upon the general public’s fear and disdain for high-fructose corn syrup.
High-fructose corn syrup, which MillerCoors claims to be markedly different from the regular corn syrup that it uses during its brewing process, has built a significantly negative reputation among the general public as experts have associated the use of high-fructose corn syrup with obesity. By contrast, MillerCoors claims that the corn syrup they use is a much more benign corn syrup, and that corn syrup is only used during the brewing process, and as such, is not considered an actual ingredient in the final beer product that needs to be listed on their beer bottles’ labels.
Read the full article here.
Plaintiff Mers Kutt Files $350 Billion Patent Infringement Suit in EDTX
In what could be one of the largest patent infringement lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas history, pro se Plaintiff Mers Kutt has filed a 64-page patent infringement lawsuit apparently alleging $350 billion in damages against Apple, IBM, Scotiabank, ARM Holdings, Samsung, Intel, Nvidia, Microsoft, Google, Hewlett Packard, Qualcomm, HTC, Nokia, Lenovo, Acer, Asustek, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Amazon, eBay, Blackberry, Research in Motion, Best Buy, JP Morgan & Chase, among others.
Read more here.
Click to read the previous Weekly IP Buzz on Thriving Attorney.
For more posts, see our Intellectual Property Law Blog.
Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.