Federal Judge Upholds Texas' Alamo Trademark

A federal judge has ruled that as the owner of the Alamo, the state of Texas also owns the shrine's image and can challenge those who use its likeness.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the judge signed a court order Thursday restricting two beer makers from using images the Texas General Land Office said infringed on the state's Alamo trademark.

Texas General Land Commissioner George P. Bush said the decision "ensures that commercial use of the Alamo is protected from improper use in order to preserve the honor of our beloved Alamo."

Last year, Alamo Beer Company of San Antonio filed a lawsuit against Old 300 Brewing, which operates as Texian Brewing in Richmond, claiming trademark infringement occurred with the use of the Alamo on products and promotional materials.

The lawsuit claimed "Texian Brewing's overall commercial impression through use of the Alamo outline/silhouette is an effort to capitalize on the significant goodwill developed by Alamo Beer since 1997."

The Land Office intervened leading to the ruling.

The court order permanently enjoins and restrains the companies from using "any other mark or name confusingly similar" to those trademarked by the state. The Land Commission says it does not oppose the use of the word "Alamo" with products or services as long as images of the roofline design of the building are not used.

Eugene Simor, president of Alamo Beer says his company does not have to change its label, which has "Alamo" is stylized letters and a silhouette of the church because it now has a license with the state.

Travis Crabtree, who represented Texian, says the company has stopped using an outline of the Alamo on its website and promotional apparel. It has opted to use images of cannons on its brand to "celebrate its Texas heritage."

Crabtree also says Texian did not feel that it infringed on the state's trademark, but chose not to fight the state in court.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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