Does the thought of Cristal with ice sound weird to you?  Yeah, it did to me too – until I went to Mexico.

I am not a discerning champagne purchaser, but I’m familiar with a few well-known champagne brands like Moet, Cristal and Dom Perignon.  I can thank Jay-Z for some of that (You can’t even drink Cristowl on this one, you gotta drink Cristal).  I recently tried my first French 75, which is a delicious gin and champagne beverage, and last week, I was lucky enough to be in beautiful Tulum, Mexico, toasting with champagne to friends at their lovely wedding.  I can’t say I’ve ever had champagne with ice though, and certainly not Cristal.

Despite being in Mexico, I couldn’t get away from thinking about brands and intellectual property.

I spotted this Coca-Cola fountain at my hotel, and I couldn’t believe it – Cristal was right on the tap!  (And apparently also available in iced tea flavor).

Now reasonable consumers may immediately appreciate that CRISTAL sparkling water (soda water, “gassy water”, whatever you wish to call it) is not CRISTAL champagne (at least I would hope so).  However, it could make a person wonder whether there is some connection between the source of the two beverage products, especially given the bubbly nature of both champagne and sparkling water.

Do you think a company should be able to register a trademark like CRISTAL for sparkling water if one is already registered by another company for champagne?  How about if the mark is registered for beer, and you are trying to file for it on wine?  How about FRAPPUCINO beer v. FRAPPUCINO coffee?