DOCUMENT: Funny, Stupid

Baby Beer Bottles Nipped In Bud

Anheuser-Busch sues over sale of "Bunwiper" products


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Baby Beer Bottles Nipped In Bud

MARCH 9--Claiming that the sale of baby bottles designed to look like Budweiser and Miller Lite bottles infringes on its valuable trademarks, the Anheuser-Busch company yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against a Maryland firm offering products 'for your little drinker.'

In a U.S. District Court complaint filed in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch named Baby Beer Bottles, Inc. and the firm's founder, Greg Jones, as defendants. As seen on these pages, the beer giant included photographs of the infringing baby bottles, which had been, until recently, sold online at (the site now only carries the notice 'This website is no longer active'). A cached page from the site shows that the firm sold 16-ounce 'Bunwiper' and 'Little Tike' baby bottles ($19.99 for a gift wrapped set) that were advertised as 'reusable, plastic, dishwasher safe...with a real, reusable, working nipple.'

The site also included an 'ALERT,' apparently posted after complaints were lodged about the products. 'If you are an adult that cannot keep real beer, or a real beer bottle away from your toddler, you should not purchase this gag gift--Please leave the site now!' The bottles, according to the site, were 'not meant to encourage underage drinking.'

Such distinctions were lost on Anheuser-Busch, whose complaint, excerpted here, contends that the baby bottles diminish the distinctiveness of the firm's trademarks and degrade 'the positive associations and prestigious connotations' of the beer brands. Jones, co-founder of a medical billing firm, did not return a TSG message about his baby bottle business. (8 pages)