Falstaff Brewing Case Summary

482 Words2 Pages
Melanie Garcia, Joey Esquivel, Jessica Lemus, Ana Lomeli, Lisa Odom

BUS 18A, SECTION NUMBER 1072
CASE BRIEF: Due 11/24/15 (481 words) 1. Case Name, Citation & Court:
Miller Brewing Company, Plaintiff-Appellee, V. Falstaff Brewing Corporation 655 F.2d 5 211 U.S.P.Q. 665 (1981), U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit 2. Key Facts
A. Miller sold and advertised reduced calorie beer under the name “Miller Lite” since 1972.
B. Falstaff Brewing Corporation produced and sold beer under “Falstaff Lite Beer”.
C. Miller argued that the term “Lite” was known under its own brand name and would mistake consumers with Falstaff brand under Lanham Trade-Mark Act.
D. It was determined that
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A = Analysis A. Miller Brewing Company strived to claim the generic word "Lite" in marketing advertisements, to differentiate themselves from any and all brewing companies including Falstaff from misrepresentation.
B. Generic terms such as "Lite" cannot be preserved under trademark law because it would violate the Federal Unfair Competition Law.
C. Under the Lanham Trade-Mark Act, a generic term is not subject to de jure protection.
D. Miller Brewing Company was debarred by principles of collateral estoppel from successfully obtaining the generic term "Lite".
E. Miller Brewing Company's complaint includes a preliminary injunction that is supported by insufficient, irrelevant evidence that the district court did not postulate.
F. Miller Brewing Company's argument was declined in an action against Falstaff, because the Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit decided adversely that the issue held no validity.

5. C = Conclusion
No, “Lite” is a generic term that does not fall into trademark protection for Miller Brewing Company in connection with reduced calorie beer under Lanham Trade-Mark
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