Although once illegal in the United States, absinthe can now be consumed in your local bars.  It was a favorite drink of writers and artists such as Ernest Hemmingway, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and Pablo Picasso.  Unfortunately, this green anise-flavored spirit did not fare so well in Swiss Court last week.  The Swiss court blocked reservation of “absinthe.”  It was found to be a generic term along with “La Bleue,” or “Fée verte” (translated as “The Green Fairy”) which also describe the popular drink.

These three terms had previously been registered as trademarks in Switzerland in 2010.  However, numerous objections were filed against these registrations.  They were ultimately defeated last week.  We will have to see if this defeat sticks or if there is an appeal to Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court.

Trying to obtain the term “absinthe” for the popular alcoholic beverage would likely suffer a similar fate in the United States.  However, I found an intent-to-use application for the clever mark ABSINTHE MINDED for beer containing absinthe flavoring on the Principal Register.  It would likely be a hit for Saint Patrick’s Day. 

I wonder if Oscar Wilde was drinking absinthe when he penned the quote “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”