Beverage Company Sues Anheuser-Busch Over Totally Different Looking Can Design

from the that's-infringing?!? dept

Scott alerts us to the bizarre lawsuit filed by United Brands, makers of the "Dragon Joose" malt beverage, filed against Anheuser-Busch for its Tilt malt beverage, arguing that the new design of Tilt's cans represents trademark infringement, copyright infringement and unfair competition among other things. The company put out this statement:
"While we are flattered that Anheuser-Busch recognizes the considerable value of the Joose brand, it is disappointing that they have resorted to stealing our design," says Michael Michail, CEO and president of United Brands. "Their new Tilt product design intentionally infringes on our Dragon Joose Marks and is thereby benefiting from the brand equity of United Brands and its products."
Based on that, you'd have to think the two cans look pretty damn similar, right? Well, take a look:
I have to admit, that I'm at a loss. Okay, there's a (very different) dragon on each can, but the designs are totally different from one another. What, exactly, does United Brands think infringes on their copyright on the original design? I can't see anything that's copied. Same with the trademark. I can't see any likelihood of confusion here. I've seen some pretty bizarre trademark and copyright lawsuits, but I'm at a total loss as to what was infringed on here.

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  1. icon
    Kingster (profile), 19 Nov 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: I dunno..

    I'm inclined to agree. They do look similar enough to be part of the same "line".

    Now, my guess is that they wouldn't be anywhere near each other. The big distributors usually don't get crowded together, and get plenty of space. Plus, in many cases, the distributor is nearly (if not totally) in charge of their display area.

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