US brewing giant Anheuser-Busch is embroiled in a clash with the Wisconsin-based craft brewer Capital Brewery Company over the latter's attempts to trademark the phrase "America's No. 1 Rated Brewery".
Capital has used the phrase on its six-packs, 12-packs and individual bottles since early 1999, after it won first place in the Beverage Testing Institute's 1998 rankings. The company also uses the slogan on its logos and support material such as T-shirts, hats and signage.
The company decided to apply to trademark the phrase with the US Patent and Trademark Office in September 2005 and A-B challenged the application, saying the slogan is deceptive and lacks meaning.
Capital has now responded to questions from Anheuser-Busch about the use of the slogan, and the St Louis brewer has until the middle of October to respond.
Anheuser-Busch said in a statement that while it had no objection to Capital using the phrase, it was opposed to the company registering it as a trademark.
Capital's legal representative said he expects the Trademark Trial And Appeal Board to hold a hearing on the matter in April 2008.