Abstract: BUDWEISER will use the trademark AMERICA but will not place an application for registration
With the US Presidential elections and the 4th of July celebrations stealing the spotlight, Budweiser, in a purely marketing campaign and trying to make the most out of the situation, has changed the name of its beer products from the standard Budweiser, into “AMERICA”.
It is not the first time Budweiser has released products associated with the United States. Effectively, since 2011, Budweiser has launched special edition cans with featured images such as the American Flag or the Statue of Liberty.
Budweiser is effectively one of the most known trademarks in the world and effectively, one of those trademarks that everyone in the global associate with the United States.
However, unlike what most people believe, Budweiser is not rebranding its main trademark. The change is purely cosmetic: Meaning that instead of filing a new trademark named “AMERICA”, Budweiser’s marketing department has merely created a temporary design.
The reasoning behind not registering the trademark is due to the fact that the word “AMERICA” is not distinctive enough to distinguish any products or services which is the main pillar of trademark law. The word “AMERICA” is wildly used, and most applicants end up disclaiming that they do not wish to have exclusivity over it. Without disclaiming use of the word and has “AMERICA” does not comprise any other distinctive word or image, most Intellectual Property Offices would refuse the trademark application.
If no one is entitled to the exclusive use of “AMERICA”, a contrario, everyone is allowed to use it and create copycat beers that might be perceived by consumers as originating from Budweiser, when in fact they are not, which might hurt the company’s reputation.
However, the rebranded Budweiser will be in effect for the period of seven months; after that “America” will become the standard Budweiser once again.