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Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. L & L Wings, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
962 F.2d 316 (1992)


Facts

L & L Wings, Inc. (Wings) (defendant) operated a number of retail stores in Myrtle Beach. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (Busch) (plaintiff) produced various types of beer, including Budweiser. Busch had trademarked the Budweiser beer label, and Busch used this label on t-shirts. Wings sold a line of Myrtle Beach t-shirts that included the image of a beer with a red, white, and blue label, but with no reference to Busch or Budweiser. The description on the t-shirt also only referenced Myrtle Beach and did not refer to the beer at all. Busch sued Wings for trademark infringement because of the label’s similarities to the Budweiser label. Busch claimed that consumers were likely to be confused because of this similarity and that consumers would assume that Busch sponsored or supported Wing’s use of the image. At trial, the jury found that the t-shirt was unlikely to cause consumer confusion and found for Wings. Busch filed for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and the district judged granted the motion. Wings appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Wilkinson, J.)

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Dissent (Powell, J.)

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