Anheuser-Busch is temporarily rebranding BUDWEISER to AMERICA. No, this is not a joke. Ronn Blitzer of LawNewz.com recently covered this from a legal angle and asked me for my two cents. This excerpt shows only some of it:
But from a legal perspective, can they do that? Can you just name your product after a country? According to Nathaniel Fintz, an intellectual property lawyer in New York, they can, but it’s unlikely they’d be able to register it as a trademark or have any protectable trademark rights. “Marks that are ‘geographically descriptive’ are weak and thus entitled to little or no trademark protection,” Fintz said. “It’s hard to imagine a mark more geographically descriptive than America.”
You can find the rest of my analysis here.