Magistrate Judge Recommends Granting Motion to Intervene in Alamo Beer Dispute: Texas Likely in the Fight

goats-173940_640As we’ve been reporting, the State of Texas has asserted superior rights to use ALAMO as a trademark. They want in on a lawsuit between Alamo Beer and Texian Brewing Co. that involves use of ALAMO as a trademark as well as use of the historic Alamo’s iconic silhouette. Putting the merits of all of Texas’s claims aside, which isn’t too difficult to do, it looks like the Lone Star State will probably be allowed into this one. The Magistrate Judge the motion was referred to has recommended intervention as of right, citing the efficiency involved in letting Texas handle this one here and now, finding Texas’s motion timely and that it would not be prejudicial to the parties. We’re still on the fence about this one because, as the Magistrate observes, “‘[i]ntervention generally is not appropriate where the applicant can protect its interests and/or recover on its claim through some other means'”—as in by waiting on the outcome of this case. We thought this a better case to decide on permissive intervention grounds. Nevertheless, the judge balances the principles weighing against intervention as of right, though, with the notion that intervention may well be appropriate where “‘no one would be hurt and greater justice could be attained.'” Whatever the case, it’d be judicially efficient, so there’s that.

If Texas gets in the game, it would make litigation more costly for the breweries involved, but seeing a surprise curveball in a lawsuit is really no surprise at all. From the outside looking in, Texian may be well served to just avoid the expense altogether and come up with a new tap handle design to put all this behind them. We hope everyone can come to an agreement before too much money gets thrown at this thing. Especially because, as we’ve discussed, we see an uphill path for the state of Texas, who is arguing they have superior rights to use ALAMO in conjunction with beer and who also makes dilution claims—even though places like the ALAMO rental car company exist, as do a number of other ALAMO-esque marks on the register, and Alamo Beer has been around using the name in San Antonio, no less, for many, many years. We’ll let you know how it goes.

On a brighter note, because it’s Friday, and because Anheuser-Busch has been on a lot of folks’ jeers list this week due to efforts to derail that Stone Bill over in South Carolina, we’ll leave you with a series of pending trademark applications for flavored beers that soon might be coming to ahhhh watering hole near you:

BUD LIGHT LIME APPLE-AHHH-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME MANG-O-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME RAZ-BER-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME MELON-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME WATER-MELON-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME PEACH-A-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME LEMON-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME GRAPE-A-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME KI-WI-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME BERR-Y-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME APPLE-A-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME CRAN-BER-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME CHERR-Y-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME BLUE-BER-RITA
BUD LIGHT LIME BLACK-BER-RITA

Happy Friday, everyone.

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