Click through to see Dragon Joose and Tilt cans

Click through to see Dragon Joose and Tilt cans

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The US arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev has dismissed a legal claim by United Brands Company over the brewer's flavoured malt beverage, Tilt.

United Brands, which produces the Joose FMB, said today (17 November) that it has filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and related claims, against Anheuser-Busch. The company, based in San Diego, has accused A-B of “stealing” the dragon design on cans of its Dragon Joose drink for the updated packaging of Tilt.

United Brands is hoping to recover damages it claims to have sustained, and “all profits, gains and advantages derived by Anheuser-Busch as a result of their infringement of the Dragon Design Copyrights, in amount to be proven at trial”.

When contacted by just-drinks, however, a spokesperson for A-B said the brewer did not agree with United Brands' assertions. “As a leading consumer product company and owner of many trademarks, we greatly respect the intellectual property rights of other companies,” the spokesperson said. “Our Tilt can design is unique and original.  We are not aware of any confusion between Tilt and other products in the market and believe the claims lack merit.”

United Brands filed its complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District Of California.

A-B launched Tilt in the US back in 2005. The brewer was moved to change the formulation of the drink in 2008, however, after it was attacked for producing caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

Separately, the US Food and Drug Administration has today accused United Brands and three other companies of selling caffeinated alcoholic drinks that are potentially unsafe for consumers.