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Heineken Brewery
Hall Of Shame Member
Added September 22, 2008

Last Updated December 26, 2009

Companies spend years and millions of dollars to build a good reputation to back their product. We believe the people at the Heineken Breweries have been over indulging in their product. Something is clouding their judgment. Big time. Their eBay About Me Page.

While Heieneken Brewery does make a good product it is nothing exceptional. It is beer. Burp. Big deal. After the first two beers they all taste the same. So why pay big bucks for a German liquid that will soon pass through your system? Couple that with their attack of bad judgment by using a scum-bag Cyber Cop outfit named Continental Enterprises, out of Indianapolis, Indiana, and we wonder why any one would spend good money for their beer. We have pages and pages on Continental Enterprises and their low-life General Counsel, Darlene Seymour, a.k.a. as their in-house bottom feeder.

Heineken Brewery is in The Tabberone Trademark & Copyright Abusers' Hall Of Shame because of their scum-bag Cyber Cop Continental Enterprises. We consider Continental Enterprises to be nothing more than low-life trademark extortionists who troll the internet looking for hapless victims to whom they send demand letters without regard to the "alleged" trademark infringement. Neither Continental Enterprises or Heineken Brewery appear to care that many cases of "alleged" trademark infringement are actually examples of "fair use" under trademark law and under copyright law. They only care about the big bucks they can scare/scam from legitimate sellers. And we shall provide you with examples of this fair use to which we refer.

Under the Supreme Court's analysis of parody, Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, the standard for a parody was set quite low. The Court reasoned that if the expression "reasonably could be perceived as commenting on the original" it was a parody and therefore "fair use" under trademark law and copyright law and it pokes fun at the original subject matter.

Click on picture for a larger view
The boxer shorts at the left were being offered on eBay. This set of shorts parodies Heineken (Hank Beer), Coca Cola, Tootsie Rolls (Bootsie Rolls), and Bazooka Bubble Gum, among others. One test of trademark infringement is whether or not a potential purchaser would reasonably think that the item was manufactured or sponsored by the company depicted. Only an idiot, or a scum-bag trademark extortionist like Continental Enterprises, would claim Heineken manufactured or sponsored these boxer shorts. The shorts are obviously a joke.

Are the powers to be at Heineken Beer idiots? We think so.

What is "Green Beer Day"? How about "Little 500"? Do either of these t-shirts look like they were sponsored or manufactured by Heineken? Of course not. They are parodies. They are making fun, that's all. And that is perfectly legal.

The picture to the right was titled "Party Pants". It was being sold as a t-shirt. What moron would possibly believe this was manufactured by Heineken? It is a parody. Pure and simple. Would someone connect the "Party Pants" with Heineken? A lot would make the connection. After all, it is a recognizable trademark. One could reasonably argue that the Heineken trademark has acquired secondary meaning because without the word "HEINEKEN" some people still recognize the red star and the green background. At least they do when they are still sober.

Secondary meaning still does not negate fair use. Parody is fair use. So why does Heineken Brewery insist on interfering with perfectly legitimate sales of parody merchandise? Ask them. Beyond the regular shakedown of lawful sellers by Continental Enterprises we can see no reason why a reputable company like Heineken Brewery would tolerate such activities by their cyber cop. Oh, we forgot. Like Continental Enterprises, the not-so-reputable company Heineken Brewery gets a cut of the extortion money. What a market edge. Drink American beer.

Another eBay seller was gluing magnets to the backs of used bottle caps to sell as refrigerator magnets. Guess what? They got shut down. But, unless there is a significant alteration to the trademarked item, it can be resold as long as the buyer is not led to believe it was manufactured by the trademark owner. In this case, the seller very plainly stated that they were "fridge magnets handmade from used beer bottle caps". This sale is covered by "fair use" under trademark law and the First Sale Doctrine under copyright law.

Come on, Heineken, get real. There is no court that would call this infringement and you and your low-life Cyber Cops know it. You and your sorry-ass cyber cops are pathetic and good examples of why we need laws that punish corporations like Heineken who abuse trademark laws.

The low-file legal minds at Continental Enterprises have also stated that the First Sale Doctrine does not apply when the original item has been altered, such as in the case where one seller was selling camp stove made from used Heineken Beer cans. (It appears these cans are particularly suited for this purpose - don't ask us why because we don't know). The seller was removing the exterior printing and converting them into lttle camp stoves.

While the low-file legal minds at Continental Enterprises are technically correct about altering the product, they have overlooked the fact that Heineken sell BEER, not empty beer containers. Nowhere will you find advertising urging you to purchase empty Heineken cans, empty Heineken bottles or empty Heineken kegs. The can, or bottle or keg, is merely a vessel by which Heineken transports the product, beer, to the consumer. The beer can stoves, or bottle caps, are by-products. The product, beer, has not been altered in any manner (well, it was turned into another yellow liquid). So what's your problem, Heineken?

We would think you would be proud of the fact your used beer cans are desired as camp stoves and that your used beer bottle caps are being creatively recycled? And, according the US trademark law, the real US trademark law not the phony version promoted by Continental Enterprises, as long as the seller is not deceiving the purchaser about the source of the product, in this case genuine Heineken by-products, using the Heineken name to accurately describe the product is fair use.

Personally, we wouldn't drink your beer if it was offered free to us. Well, only if it was free. We certainly are not going to purchase Heineken ever. We think any company that would hire scum bag Cyber Cops like Continental Enterprises to police their trademark on the internet, has quality issues, not to mention drain bamage.

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