Category Archives: Brewery

April 14

North Carolina Proposes Some Common-Sense Amendments to Modernize Its Brewing Laws That Advance Rights for Craft Brewers In the Face of Changing Times

Jim Koch (of Boston Beer fame) wrote an excellent polemic for the New York Times last week questioning some American attitudes towards beer.  A salient point from that article was that many state distribution laws developed over time from the end of prohibition and haven’t been updated since the 1970’s.  These distribution statutes were created […]

March 29

Example Agreements: Spirits Manufacturing Agreement (Licensing) – Contract Distilling With Enhanced “Flash” Aging

This recent dispute between a distiller and a company looking to contract manufacture a whiskey called Rattleback Rye has resulted in an opinion from a federal district court in South Carolina denying a motion to dismiss based on breach of contract grounds against both the company and its principals, but granting dismissal of claims for […]

March 24

Craft Brewers Need to Watch This Texas Dispute Over Getting Money From Wholesalers For Selling Distribution Rights – State Files Opening Brief in Appeal of Challenge to Texas Brewer’s Ability to Sell Their Distribution Rights for Payment

It used to be that brewers signed with wholesalers and gave up their self-distribution rights and didn’t get any money for them.  Then some enterprising brewers realized that wholesalers sue each other and brewers for the value of those rights so the rights must have value.  They started asking for payment when they signed with […]

March 17

Bud Light Lime Lime-a-Rita not False Advertising Says – 9th Circuit … Compared to a Fictional Budweiser Lime-a-Rita or a Margarita

The 9th Circuit has upheld the District Court decision dismissing the false advertising case against Anheuser for Bud-Light Lime Lime-a-Rita. For those not familiar with this false advertising lawsuit, consumers brought claims against Anheuser alleging that the use of the work “Light” in the Bud Light Lime Lime-a-Rita name was misleading because the alcoholic beverages […]

March 16

This Spuds Not For You – Anheuser Gets Sued By Putative Owner of Spuds MacKenzie Claiming Anheuser Abandoned Spuds MacKenzie

You read that right.  They created him, they used him, and now, they may have waited too long in between uses to be able to claim they have the rights to him.  This lawsuit (link to complaint), filed yesterday in the Southern District of New York by Spuds Ventures. The lawsuit alleges that the recent […]

March 10

Sapporo Wins “Not Made In Japan” Lawsuit – Havana Club and Red Stripe Opinions Are Gaining Steam as Precedent for Beer False Origin Lawsuits

“If I wanted American beer, I would have bought Budweiser” – that’s what the plaintiff in the recently dismissed class action against Sapporo told the New York Post back when they reported on her filing the lawsuit. The plaintiff in this suit went after Sapporo claiming that the packaging mislead consumers into believing the beer […]

March 08

Use a Foreign Word In Your Beverage Name? Better Make Sure It’s English Equivalent Isn’t Already Trademarked and Vice Versa

If a = b, then b = a.  In math, it’s called the “symmetric property of equality.”  There’s a similar principle in trademark law called the “doctrine of equivalents.”  Foreign words have protection from their english equivalents, and english words have protection from their foreign equivalents.  It applies to words from “common, modern languages.”  Italian […]