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But, is it Really Guinness?

Posted in Taste, Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney

It’s not even noon and I’ve already received e-mail forwards containing a fair share of leprechaun-themed tomfoolery, some of it quite enjoyable. And, as it does every year, the question of whether Guinness tastes better and/or different in Ireland than it does elsewhere has resurfaced.

I confess I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I do enjoy a wee half-pint of Guinness every now and again. However, I’ve only ever consumed Guinness in the States and the U.K. It follows that some connoisseurs of the brew might argue that I’ve never actually consumed Guinness as it is meant to taste. The purpose of trademark law is to ensure that consumers know what to expect when they purchase a product. Of course, that begs the question, if all those half-pints I’ve consumed aren’t the equivalent of the vaunted drink of Dublin, then what the heck have I been drinking all these years?