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Federal Judge Upholds Alamo Trademark, GLO Grants License To Alamo Beer

Chris Eudaily
TPR News

There was a flurry of social media posts on Friday by people concerned that their favorite beer was losing its popular logo. But a lawsuit settled this week means that Alamo Beer gets to keep the famous facade on its label.

On the surface, it seems like a complicated legal entanglement, but it really boils down to one simple statement from the General Land Office: “Alamo Brewing Company is the first commercial recipient of an official license to use the Alamo mark, for which they paid a substantial licensing fee.”

Alamo Beer CEO Eugene Simor says it’s been almost a year since his company filed a lawsuit to get another company, the Texian Brewing Company, to stop using the Alamo on its beer labels.

Simor says three days after his filing, the Texas General Land Office took notice and filed as an intervenor.

The federal trademark case ended up in front of U.S. District Judge Fred Biery, who, on Thursday, ruled that the state owns the rights to the trademark, not either beer company. The court order permanently enjoins and restrains the companies from using “any other mark or name confusingly similar” to those trademarked by the state.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said in a statement Thursday that he was “pleased that we were able to reach an amicable resolution in this matter and that the state’s ownership of images of the Alamo has been recognized and protected in the eyes of the court.”

The General Land Office issued its statement late Thursday, saying the court’s decision ensures that commercial use of the Alamo is protected from improper use — quote “in order to preserve the honor of our beloved Alamo.” It also said the state’s concern is only for the curvy shape — and the GLO does not oppose the use of the word “Alamo” by businesses in connection with products or services.

Specific terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed, but the GLO said in its statement that the licensing fee paid by Alamo Beer would be “put in a dedicated fund for the Alamo.”

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.