(“Supreme”) after refusing to apply the first-filed rule. We have jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.
In January 1996, Anheuser began a national advertising campaign for Bud Ice
beer that used a penguin in its design. In September 1996, Supreme acquired rights in
penguin trademarks held by Munsingwear, Inc., which had been using penguin designs
on golf and apparel since 1954. Beginning in October 1996, Supreme began discussing
with Anheuser the possibility of selling clothing to Anheuser in connection with the Bud
Ice advertising campaign. In November 1996, a representative of Supreme met in St.
Louis, Missouri, with representatives of Anheuser. During this meeting, Supreme
objected to Anheuser’s use of a penguin design on Bud Ice apparel. Later that month,
Supreme and Anheuser discussed Anheuser’s use of the penguin design as a possible
infringement of Supreme’s penguin trademark.
On December 11, 1996, Supreme sent a letter to Anheuser demanding that
Anheuser stop all use of the penguin design in its Bud Ice campaign. The letter stated
that, unless Anheuser were to respond within five days, Supreme had authorized its
attorneys to take legal action. On December 19, 1996, Anheuser filed a declaratory
judgment action in the Eastern District of Missouri (the “Missouri action”), seeking a
declaration that Anheuser’s use of the penguin in the Bud Ice campaign was neither
infringing nor diluting Supreme’s rights in the penguin trademarks. On December 24,
1996, Supreme filed its own action in the Southern District of Florida (the “Florida
action”), claiming trademark infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive business
Anheuser filed a motion to dismiss or stay the Florida action, and the Florida
court granted the motion, staying the Florida action pending the Missouri court’s