Your Beer’s Name Inspired By a Famous Book, Movie or Song? It Might be Infringing. – Warner Bros. Challenges Brewer Over Golden Ticket Beer.

This is a big deal in brewing.  Not just for Star Wars themed beers, but also the thousands of derivative names and label art that are a tribute to some brewery’s favorite thing.  As evidenced by this recent opposition filed by Warner Bros., in Southern Sky Brewing’s trademark application for the “Golden Ticket” for beer […]

Goose Island scores win in action over refunds for “off” Bourbon County from 2015

Goose Island recently scored a win in Federal District Court Massachusetts where it achieved the dismissal of a class action brought by two Bourbon County Brand Stout purchasers who bought BCBS and variants from the 2015 year that was part of the bad batch fiasco for which Goose Island instituted a refund program. Those looking […]

Illinois bill granting new rights to craft brewers advances to the governor for signature

House Bill 4897 hasn’t been signed by the governor yet but it’s on its way. This bill passed both the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate with no nay votes and no abstentions. Once signed the bill will add several new rights for craft breweries in the state of Illinois that bring the state closer […]

What’s the difference between good parody and bad? – A defensible legal position.

The recent kerfuffle between Knee Deep Brewing Co., and Sony Pictures Television over Knee Deep’s use of Breaking Bad (trademarked by Sony) iconography and imagery for their Breaking Bud IPA provides an opportunity for a good reminder about the defense of parody to trademark infringement. When done right, this time-honored, and statutorily codified defense to […]

Come out and attend one of the ILCC and TTB informational seminars on June 13

At yesterday’s Illinois Liquor Control Commission board meeting, the director said that in addition to discussing federal trade practice rules and some issues concerning the ongoing investigations that the entities are engaging in, the upcoming June 13 learning sessions hosted by the TTB in Chicago regarding trade practices would be jointly hosted by the ILCC and […]

Oral Argument Audio Available in Craft Brewers’ Franchise Dispute Over Distribution Termination In Ohio

The Sixth Circuit held the oral argument yesterday in the dispute between Southern Glazer’s and two craft brewers (Great Lakes Brewing and Boston Beer Company) looking to terminate their distribution relationship.   You can listen to the argument here: We’ve written about this case a few times here and here noting that it is an […]

Nevada Case Questions How Egregious Distributor Behavior Has To Be To Amount To Good Cause For Termination of Franchise Rights

Franchise laws enslaving brewers to distributors often have vaguely worded “good cause” terms allowing a brewer to terminate a relationship when this beneficently named justification exists. A frequent criticism of these statutes is that when a distributor has acted in a fashion that would allow for termination under regular contract principles, these laws force brewers […]

Millercoors Wins “Not From Australia” Lawsuit Over Claims That Foster’s Marketing Misleads Drinkers

In one of latest wins for brewers against deceptive labeling lawsuits brought against domestically made beers over branding that arguably conveys they are imported, Millercoors has scored a win for its Foster’s brand against a putative class action looking to cash in against the company.  The lawsuit (you can read the amended complaint here) alleged that […]