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Whose Miller Time Is It?

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A fight´s brewing over a slogan used by a well-known beer maker and a family in San Mateo County.

Miller Brewing Company uses the phrase “It´s Miller Time” to market its lager.

The Miller family – which is unaffiliated with the beer maker – uses Miller time-dot-com as a way to post family photos and keep in touch.

The family´s been using the domain name since 1995. The brewing company was granted a trademark on the phrase in 2001. Federal law says the use of a registered trademark as a domain name may be trademark infringement.

The company has been trying to force the family to give up the name. Those efforts have prompted Mark Miller and his family to file a complaint against the company in U-S district court. The Millers hope the court will block the National Arbitration Forum from forcing them to give up the domain name.