This Spuds Not For You – Anheuser Gets Sued By Putative Owner of Spuds MacKenzie Claiming Anheuser Abandoned Spuds MacKenzie

You read that right.  They created him, they used him, and now, they may have waited too long in between uses to be able to claim they have the rights to him.  This lawsuit (link to complaint), filed yesterday in the Southern District of New York by Spuds Ventures.

The lawsuit alleges that the recent Spuds Superbowl spot (linked here) feature “ghost spuds” was an infringement on the mark that Spuds Ventures picked up because AB “abandoned” the trademark for Spuds in 1989.  They allege that Anheuser missed their Section 8 filings required of a trademark owner; mark owners have to file these every 5-6 years saying they’ve been using the mark or cancellation ensues.

Seeking damages and an injunction, the complaint says that another user has been using the mark for t-shirts and other items and has filed and received a registration, which Spuds Ventures now owns.   If nothing else, a good reminder to stay abreast of your Section 8 use filings.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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