Category Archives: Trademark

harvested-agaves February 02

Use Tequila in Your Drink Name? You May Need to Use Another Name. U.S. Trademark Office Makes Tequila the Champagne of Agaves

Marie Gaytán’s “¡Tequila!: Distilling the Spirit of Mexico” is a grand exercise in contextualizing tequila historically, economically, and politically.  If you don’t start the book with an appreciation (and hankering) for tequila or mezcal as something that isn’t served with salt and lime, you will by the time you finish it.  The treatise renewed my […]

stout January 04

Court Issues Instructive Trademark Decision as Brooklyn Brewery Wins Injunction Against Black Ops Brewing Over “Black Ops” Trademark Row

Not every beverage you make will become a brand in itself.  Often, nothing you make will become more famous than your company name.  But for some reason stouts aged in bourbon barrels are notorious for having their names get the shorthand treatment and become famous – Bourbon County, Dark Lord, Dragon’s Milk, even to initials […]

city-marketing-lights-night December 23

More Famous Than Your Lawyers? Why Are You Letting Them Put Your Brand on Their Website Without Compensation?

Do your vendors advertise that they work with you?  How about vendors you haven’t worked with in over a years? Chances are it’s a much greater boon to them (which is, of course, why they want your logo on their website) than it is to you. Your lawyers, accountants, advertising agencies and other vendors use […]

sazerac-and-bulleit-picture-from-complaint December 20

Diageo Sues Sazerac over Bulleit Bourbon Trade Dress – What Do You Think?

Well, what do you think based on that picture above? It is from this complaint filed last Friday in the Southern District of New York by Diageo North America against Sazerac alleging that Sazerac’s Dr. McGillicuddy’s bottles infringe on the trade dress of Bulleit bottles and dilute that trademark protection. The complaint asks for injunctive […]

DuClaw(s) out at Left Hand Brewery in craft beer trademark dispute over Sawtooth and Black Jack beer names

Left Hand Brewing may have just made the list of the U.S. top 50 craft brewers but DuClaw Brewing Company isn’t writing to congratulate them.  In this lawsuit filed last Monday, DuClaw, which makes a Belgian white it calls Sawtooth and stout called Black Jack Stout wants a Maryland Federal Court to keep Left Hand […]

Anchor Steam(ed) up in dispute over use of “Steam” trademark for craft beer by City Steam Brewery

In a lawsuit filed two weeks ago, Anchor Steam Brewery is seeking to enforce its rights to its “Steam” trademark for beer against City Steam Brewery in Connecticut.  The case between these two brewers had been milling around the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board but now that Anchor filed suit, they’re seeking to stay that […]

Website Fan Reviews And Product Descriptions Can Play an Important Role In The Decision to Grant You a Trademark

The folks over at Bourgogne Des Flandres can breathe a little easier after this decision from the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reversed the Trademark Examining Attorney’s refusal to register their trademark on the grounds that it is generic an incapable of identifying their beer and therefore should be […]

You Need an Approved COLA Before You Have a Valid Trademark?

I’d say it goes without saying, but the recent expansion of wineries, breweries and distilleries and the coinciding increase in trademark disputes is evincing a contrary trend, so I guess I’ll say it, you need label approval (or recognized exemption) to have lawful sales that can count as your first use in commerce. And a […]