Law Office of Jason H. Rosenblum, PLLC

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So Much Beer! So Few Names. | New York and Charleston Trademark Lawyer

The craft beer industry is booming! It seems as though new microbreweries are popping up every day. Going into a store for beer requires its own definition of terms and an hour or more of contemplation and browsing time. With this growth comes a high demand for unique brewery and beer names – and an increase in disputes over trademark infringement.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently reported that there were at least 25,000 active trademark applications and registrations related to beer. As you might imagine, this means that a brewery must be careful and thorough when searching for their choice of names. Now, more than ever, the beer industry needs to have an understanding of trademark laws.

Unfortunately, as is true for many small-business owners, many brewery owners don’t understand the trademark process. They either fail to fully research what existing trademarks there may be, or fail to explore the issue at all. Along those same lines, these brewery owners often do not seem to understand the consequences of trademark infringement, which means they can find themselves in quite a mess when they ignore cease and desist letters from registered trademark owners.

Most naming disputes are settled out of court or through the Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. But, there have been instances where disputes reach the courtroom. This is time and expense that most breweries don’t anticipate, which more often than not can be a huge hit on their bottom line.

Some examples:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/craft-brewers-in-trademark-fight-over-lightbulb-logo/article_243c516d-252e-5248-a1b4-b86dda0b02fa.html

https://mibiz.com/item/22822-kalamazoo-beer-exchange-resolves-trademark-dispute-with-north-carolina-tech-firm

Lagunitas Plans to Drop Suit Against Sierra Nevada

http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2015/03/10/bells-brewery-beer-trademark-innovation/24732355/

It’s always best to be proactive and work through trademark issues with a trademark attorney. A little bit of due diligence now can save a lot of stress down the road. However, if you do find yourself on the wrong end of a cease and desist letter, you definitely should speak with a trademark lawyer who understands the process.

If you need help with your trademark issues, our New York and Charleston Trademark Lawyers at (888) 666-0062 to schedule a free consultation. When it comes to trademarks, a little advanced planning goes a long way.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.

Law Office of Jason H. Rosenblum, PLLC © 2017 All rights reserved.

 

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