Anheuser-Busch InBev has applied for a federal trademark for "314" -- the area code for much of metropolitan St. Louis -- as well as for the telephone prefixes of 13 other U.S. cities.... Besides St. Louis' 314, other area codes that A-B is seeking trademarks for: 412 (Pittsburgh), 305 (Miami), 619 (San Diego), 202 (Washington, D.C.), 602 (Phoenix), 704 (Charlotte), 702 (Las Vegas), 214 (Dallas), 415 (San Francisco), 216 (Cleveland), 303 (Denver), 615 (Nashville) and 713 (Houston).The obvious question: why? Well, there's this:
Chicago-based brewery Goose Island, which A-B bought this year for $38.8 million, produces a wheat ale called 312, a nod to that city's area code.Here's the moment where a good blogger would offer some insight into A-B's motives, but I have none. Goose Island's 312 is cool because it's a Chicago brewery, Chicagoans know that, and they appreciate the local nod. But a San Diego-specific Goose Island 619 wouldn't necessarily draw the delight of Arrogant Bastard fans. (To this point, I am not surprised A-B skipped "503.")
It also seems pretty absurd that A-B could hold the trademark, even in a very constrained context, to a number. But trademark law and I don't see eye to eye, so what I think is absurd and five dollars will buy you a nice pint of ale.