The Disney Empire Strikes Back Against "Star Wars" Themed Beer

Cue the Imperial March. The Disney Empire is waging an attack on a Syracuse-based brewing company as it tries to register the EMPIRE STRIKES BOCK trademark in association with its beer.
skywalkerA not so long time ago in a pub not that far away, Empire Brewing in Syracuse, NY brewed their own beer. Now the brewing company is expanding its own empire and and will bottle and distribute its beer. At the beginning of this expansion they began to register the trademarks for their more popular brews. When they applied for the EMPIRE STRIKES BOCK mark, Lucasfilm and The Mouse took notice.
Citing Star Wars’ long history and acclaim, Lucasfilm argues that there will be confusion between the brands and that with the significant amount of advertising money spent on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK mark that their brand would also be diluted. When the film was released in 1980, it earned $290 million in U.S. box office revenue and $240 million internationally. Since then, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and STAR WARS have been used and licensed across many categories of merchandise including food and wine. One example is when Lucasfilm licensed the SKYWALKER name to a winery. The bottle can be seen to the right.
This may be a tough battle for the Empire Brewing Company. They may wish to use the force and fight the Empire. More likely, however, they may have to cut their losses and consider other trademarks. I’m voting for I’LL BE BOCK or BOCK TO THE FUTURE.
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