A California winery has filed a complaint against Anheuser-Busch, LLC seeking a declaration that the winery has not infringed any of the brewer’s protectable trademark rights and that the winery’s use of the BOW TIE word mark and Bow Tie slogan to sell its wine “does not constitute unfair competition.” San Antonio Winery, Inc. v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, No. 12-7067 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., filed August 16, 2012). The winery claims that it started using the BOW TIE word mark in the United States in 2012 and had filed a trademark application for the mark in November 2011. After the application was published for opposition, Anheuser-Busch allegedly demanded that the winery abandon the application and refrain from using the BOW TIE word mark on the ground that the brewer held design marks depicting bow ties and that “there is a likelihood of consumer confusion, mistake, or deception between San Antonio’s BOW TIE Word Mark and the Budweiser Design Marks.”  

Claiming that consumers will not be confused about the parties’ respective marks, the winery alleges that it is entitled to a declaration that the use of the word mark or slogan does not infringe any valid rights of Anheuser-Busch or constitute unfair competition.