Oliver Weasel Holmes
11 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 13, 2013
Although it has not yet made it into Black’s Law Dictionary, the term “weasel words” is well known to lawyers. It denotes words that are written with the intent to permit a certain fluidity when it comes time to interpret them. This article examines the use of weasel words and specifically analyzes whether Justice Holmes employed them in authoring Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. v. Houston Ice & Brewing Co., 250 U.S. 28 (1919), a case in which the brewer of Schlitz beer accused another beer of stealing its bottle and label design.
Keywords: Oliver Wendell Holmes, weasel words, Black's Law Dictionary, Schlitz, beer, Magnolia beer, Houston Ice & Brewing Co., trademark, Lanham Act
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