Turning your dream of owning a brewery, winery, or distillery into reality takes hard work. It can take a significant amount of capital and many years to create your brand and build a loyal following. Since your company’s slogan, product names, and label designs are what make your brand distinctive, it’s crucial to make sure they’re protected from misuse by competitors. A registered trademark for your brewery, winery, or distillery can help.
Intellectual property disputes are not uncommon in the beer, wine, and spirits industries. Registering your brand is the single most important thing you can do to shield it from the actions of wrongdoers who could potentially harm your company’s reputation and your bottom line. The attorneys at the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC are committed to working with owners of breweries, wineries, and distilleries to help them safeguard their brands so they can concentrate on the growth of the businesses they worked so hard to build.
Whether your company produces beer, wine, or liquor, there’s nothing more important than branding in the alcoholic beverage industry. Your brand is what connects you with consumers and drives your sales. Without registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, your brand is unprotected and another business may use your designs, symbols, or catchphrases — intentionally or inadvertently — without legal repercussions.
Hiring a trademark attorney when your brewery, winery, or distillery is in the initial phases of planning can save you a significant amount of time and money in the long run that could otherwise be spent defending your brand. At the Trademark Lawyer Firm, we assist winery, brewery, and distillery owners with a wide variety of trademark matters, including:
Our lawyers diligently conduct searches prior to submitting a distillery, winery, or brewery trademark application to clear use of your product name, design, or slogan to avoid any potential issues during the application process. With longstanding experience and an extensive record of positive outcomes, our attorneys provide strategic advice and will give you an honest assessment concerning the likelihood your mark will be successfully registered the first time you file your application.
There are more than 8,000 craft breweries nationwide, and the number continues to rise every year. With fierce competition in the brewing industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with creative and compelling product names. This is why it’s essential to secure your ideas and the identity of your business with a registered brewery trademark.
Trademarking your craft beer brand not only protects it from unauthorized use, but it can also be advantageous if you’re seeking to license merchandise, obtain financing, and expand the geographical scope of your business. We are adept at handling the nuances of registering brewing industry trademarks to help you achieve your objectives and advance your business goals.
If you operate a winery or vineyard, you may have devoted a significant amount of time and effort into creating the perfect blend. A strong trademark is vital in the wine industry to protect the distinctiveness of your wine brand and the uniqueness of your label. However, wineries and vineyards can encounter specific challenges when choosing a name for their product that is entitled to the full scope of trademark protection.
For example, your chances of successful registration may be lower if the wine name is too suggestive or descriptive of the wine or blend itself. Additionally, while the wine’s region of origin must be indicated on the label, your application may be denied if you try to trademark a name that is geographically descriptive. Generally, the more “fanciful” the name, the greater your chances of successfully registering your winery trademark. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the obstacles winery owners may face regarding wine trademark registration and work with them to develop effective solutions for their businesses.
Craft distillers know that the names of their spirits, their product labels, and even the shapes of their bottles are fundamental to brand recognition — and boosting their profit margins. Whether your distillery makes whiskey, bourbon, vodka, tequila, rum, or any other kind of liquor, your brand’s identity is what makes it stand out from your competitors, and it’s imperative to be proactive in protecting it.
Even if you’ve been distributing your spirits locally, it’s critical to understand that unless your trademark is federally registered with the USPTO, your distillery’s brand does not have nationwide protection. With intense competition in the rapidly growing distillery industry, registering your trademark can add significant value to your business. We provide skillful and efficient counsel to craft distillery owners so they can be rest assured their most valuable assets are protected from potential infringement and theft.
The success of your business depends on the strength of your brand. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm PLLC works with owners of craft breweries, microbreweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries nationwide to help them ensure their brands are protected. With a proven track record of more than 6,500 successfully registered trademarks, we are committed to providing high-quality and cost-effective legal services for clients in the alcoholic beverage industry and entrepreneurs in various business sectors. Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation today.
Suspensions are when your application is on hold. There are various reasons a trademark application can be suspended. However “likelihood of confusion” with prior application(s) filed and submission of foreign application are the most common reasons the USPTO may suspend an application. During a trademark suspension period, your lawyer will provide guidance on the next steps and whether it might be best to file an argument or pursue a coexistence agreement.
A disclaimer usually refers to a statement which indicates that you are not claiming exclusive rights to use the word(s) or a design element in your trademark application. A disclaimer allows for registration without creating a false impression of the registrant’s rights.
A good example of this is disclaiming “café” if your services are for a café.
If a trademark is not eligible for the Principal Registry, there is sometimes an option to register on the Supplemental Registry.
In cases where the USPTO finds the trademark application is merely ornamental, merely descriptive, or primarily geographically descriptive, the USPTO may allow the application to be registered on the Supplemental Registry. However, over time, the mark may acquire distinctiveness and possibly become eligible for the Principal Registry.
Two dates must be specified in a trademark application:
Date of First Use Anywhere: The “anywhere” refers to use in the U.S. or elsewhere. This is the date the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered under the mark. The use must also have been bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade.
Date of First Use in Commerce: This is the date when the goods were first sold or transported, or the services were first rendered under the mark in interstate or international commerce. The use of the mark must have been bona fide and in the ordinary course of trade.
The renewal timeframe for a trademark is between the 9th and 10th year anniversary of the trademark registration, and then in ten-year intervals. It is important to be aware that the USPTO also requires a registrant to provide an affidavit at the 5th and 6th years of ownership stating that the trademark is still being used in commerce. Failure to comply with the renewal timeframes or the affidavit requirements will result in the cancellation of the trademark registration.