Trademark lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch dropped by Big Sky Brewing

A lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch filed by Big Sky Brewing Co. for alleged trademark infringement has been voluntarily discharged after both parties reached an amicable agreement.

According to Lisa Weser, communications director for Big Sky Brewing Co., Big Sky agreed to dismiss the lawsuit in exchange for Anheuser-Busch putting down popular Bud Light videos posted to YouTube that has been phrased, “Hold my beer and watch this.”

A letter filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula has been sent by Big Sky’s lawyer to Anheuser-Busch, on Dec. 9, 2013, demanding the larger company to cease using the phrase in its YouTube videos. Though the videos did not appear on television, it earned millions of views online before being taken down last week.

Big Sky had again filed a lawsuit later in December, against Anheuser-Busch saying the Missoula brewery had been using the phrase since 2004 and had trademarked it in 2009 for uses in beer and alcohol.

Big Sky dropped the lawsuit Wednesday, according to documents from court.

Bjorn Nabozney, one of the founder of Big Sky said in an earlier interview that his company had no hostility toward the larger company and hoped to reach a solution outside of court, but wanted to clear any misconception that Big Sky had taken the phrase from Anheuser-Busch.

Weser observed that the use of the phrase in the Bud Light videos did not constitute trademark infringement by Anheuser-Busch, as it controls more than 47 percent of beer market in the US.  However, there are no immediate plans by Anheuser-Busch to use the phrase again. Instead, the company will focus on its Super Bowl advertising campaign and a new Bud Light creative campaign, Weser said.  She also added that the agreement did not involve any financial component.

A lawyer for Big Sky Brewing declined to comment on this.


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