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A-B protests Wisconsin brewery's #1 claim

By AP/KWMU

Madison, Wis. – Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin has called itself "America's Number One Rated Brewery" for almost ten years -- and now it wants to make the title official by trademarking the phrase.

But Saint-Louis-based Anheuser-Busch is protesting that effort. The brewing giant says the term should be untrademarked so every brewer could use it.

Capital president Carl Nolen says the brewery has used the phrase since 1998 when it was ranked first among U.S. breweries at the Beverage Testing Institute's World Beer Championships.

The brewery - which brews about 17,000 barrels per year - applied for a trademark in 2005. But Anheuser-Busch submitted a challenge this month saying it's protesting the trademark effort, not Capital's right to use the phrase.

On Monday Capital will submit to Anheuser-Busch its justification for trademarking the phrase. Nolen says the company will have 30 days to review it before a federal court decides whether Anheuser-Busch's challenge has merit.

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