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Phyllis Schlafly Estate Loses Bid to Block Beer Trademark (1)

Nov. 26, 2018, 4:11 PMUpdated: Nov. 26, 2018, 7:42 PM

A brewery founded by the nephew of the late conservative political activist Phyllis Schlafly won its fight to trademark Schlafly beer, over the objections of her estate.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Nov. 26 that the Saint Louis Brewery LLC’s exclusive and continuous use of the mark for more than 25 years has made it distinct and given it a secondary meaning beyond the family’s surname. The court upheld a 2016 Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision.

The ruling demonstrates that a mark that’s also a surname can acquire a secondary meaning when used with ...