How a little craft beer brewer in Vermont out-zeroed Coke Zero

Coca-Cola, the soft drink marketing Goliath, could learn soon whether it gets to trademark the word “zero” in the beverage world.

Coke basically contends that when people are thirsty and see the word “zero,” they think of Coke Zero, a crucial brand for the Atlanta-based company.

But when I googled “zero,” I was surprised by where Coke Zero came up in the results. It wasn’t even the first beverage listed. That honor went to a small craft beer brewer in Vermont.

“I’m sure Coke would like to trademark the word cola too, but I don’t think it is going to happen,” said Matt Wilson, a co-owner of the brewery.

For more on the battle over zero, check out the latest Unofficial Business column on

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