Wisconsin SC finds “good cause” isn’t required to terminate wine distribution agreements

The Governor of Wisconsin has a partial veto power that comes from the state constitution which allows for striking portions of bills to create entirely new (and even contrary) legislation from a bill that’s presented. (Wisconsin Cons. Article V, Section 10). Apparently this power was used to such effect that in 1990 the State Constitution […]

A new ally in the fight against counterfeit wine – the online retailer Alibaba

In early 2015, Wine Spectator questioned how serious the Chinese government was at addressing the problem of counterfeit wines and pointed to Alibaba’s site as a major culprit in promoting the sale of counterfeit bottles. A clever solution implemented by producers and brokers back then was the award of exclusive distribution rights within the country.  […]

Arguing With the Trademark Office Over Wine? – La Finca Wine Trademark Decision Provides Interesting Lessons Regarding Acceptable Source Material

The TTAB (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board) recently affirmed the decision from the USPTO refusing to register the mark “La Finca” for wines on the basis that the vintner didn’t demonstrate that the brand had acquired distinctiveness since the translation of the term is “the estate” or “the farm” which is descriptive for wines.  You […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Win for Rational Thought In Alcohol Advertising – 8th Circuit Asks District Court to Consider Whether There’s A Correlation Between Alcohol Advertising Regulations and Their Intended Objectives In Order to Satisfy First Amendment Scrutiny

It’s not just that some 20th Century laws are not equipped to handle 21st Century problems. (I read that in a Google ad a while back and still think it is a great statement.)  Its that since the time when many of the problems asserted in the alcohol industry were the subject of “tied-house” and […]

Oral Argument Video of Challenge to Alcohol Advertising Tied-House Regulations at 9th Circuit

As we said we would yesterday, here is the video of the oral argument that happened yesterday in Retail Digital Network, LLC, v. Director of Alcoholic Control Board, Applesmith (link is to our post from yesterday describing the case and why it is important to advertisers and brewers, vintners, and distillers.