My good friend and colleague Brian Kasal of FourStar just posted a great piece on the century-old dispute over who has the right to brew one of the most recognizable beers in the world- Budweiser.

Reading his post brought to mind another famous intellectual property dispute that involved a patent on the machinery invented to produce one of the first ready to eat breakfast cereals, Shredded Wheat.  The inventor, Henry Perky, had hoped to sell his new machine, but the cereal sold better than the machines.

Kellogg’s started selling their own version of Shredded Wheat in the 1920’s, well after the expiration of the Henry Perky issued patent (1912), which at that time was controlled by National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco).   National Biscuit sued Kellogg’s for violating unfair competition and trademark laws, and the case ended up in the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court ruled ‘Shredded Wheat’ is a generic, descriptive term and that the process was unprotected by patent.  So much for that lawsuit!

Well, I’ll also raise a pint and give another story on the Budweiser fight, as well as a detailed overview of the U.S. Supreme Court Case, KELLOGG CO. v. NATIONAL BISCUIT CO.  Cheers!

Read the Story- Where a Budweiser Isn’t Allowed to Be a Budweiser

An Overview of the Court Case- KELLOGG CO. v. NATIONAL BISCUIT CO.

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