Anheuser-Busch Files Trademark Applications for Airport Codes

By Joseph Mandour on June 18, 2012

beer-bottle-pouring-thumb-200x132-40682 Orange County – What do airport codes have to do with selling beer? To the confusion of many, Anheuser-Busch trademark attorneys filed paper work last week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark over forty different airport codes. The Applications for the famous beer distributor included the three-letter airport codes for airports in San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX) and Boston (BOS), and many others.

Three letter airport codes, such as the ones Anheuser-Busch is attempting to trademark, are used worldwide and are also called “International Air Transport Association (IATA) Location Identifiers”. The practice of universally using the three-letter airport codes started in the 1930’s, when airline service exploded and towns without weather station codes needed identification. To solve this problem, the three-letter system was born. Since then, it has become much more convenient for pilots, controllers, travel agents, frequent flyers, computers and baggage handlers to say and write ORD than the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.

Experts are not certain of the exact plans behind the trademark filings for so many airport codes, but it would appear that the brewer intends to create dozens of brands geared toward local consumers. Anheuser-Busch now has six months to submit a Statement of Use for each of the airport codes. Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch also filed Trademark Applications with the USPTO to trademark “314” and thirteen other city area codes. The government filing fee for each Application at least $275, so between the filing fees for the airport codes and those for the area codes, Anheuser-Busch has spent roughly $18,000 dollars.

Anheuser-Busch is the leading American beer retailer with a whopping 48.3 percent of sales in the United States. Its most popular selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light, are also the top selling beers in the U.S. and are distributed through a massive network of over 500 independent wholesalers. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Anheuser-Busch operates twelve breweries across the United States and prides itself in also being the top recycler of Aluminum for over 30 years.

Related Articles: