In a previous blog post title “The Importance of Intellectual Property Protection: The Small Brewery Example,” we discussed the importance of new and small businesses protecting themselves and their brand by remaining aware of other business brands and taking active measures to not infringe upon them. However, not only can the name of the company, the company logo and the product name be trademarked, but the taglines – or the slogans – label design and recipes of your beer can also be trademarked. Your label represents you and your company and is another asset that should be protected.
The design of your label is also encompassed by copyright law, yet another area you must consider. Copyright is important because it allows you, and only you, the right to reproduce your label. This should be considered when hiring third party graphic designers to create labels or other artwork. Initial ownership of the Copyright lies with its author, except when an express work-for-hire agreement is executed. With a work-for-hire in place it is as if the brewery was the author. You must take the correct steps to ensure that you own the copyrights to these materials. A properly drafted and executed work-for-hire agreement before the work begins is critical to avoiding disputes in the future.
Another area to consider is the recipe or special blend of your specific brew. This is something you want to protect from competitors and can be classified as a trade secret. Trade secrets must be kept confidential in order to qualify for protection. There are certain steps to adhere to in guarding the secrecy of your recipes.
The intellectual property of your brewery is what your entire company is built upon. It is an asset and it is critical to your success that you protect this part of your business. Let the law work to your advantage. Call me today to ensure you take the appropriate steps to protect your business and your brand. (888) 666-0062 or online at https://jhrlegal.com/find-us/.