Craft beer trademark webinar

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Few industries rely on trademarks more than the craft beer industry which is experiencing explosive growth and a flood of new brands. A distinctive trademark can be the foundation for a strong brand that is widely recognized by consumers, a poorly chosen trademark can get lost in the crowd or even lead to legal disputes. Every commercial brewer should have a basic understanding of trademarks, and why they must be properly selected and protected.

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Craft beer trademark webinar

  1. 1. BRAND PROTECTIONTHROUGH TRADEMARKS Why Craft Beer Needs the ® Brian P. Gregg McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC 100 Pine Street, P.O. Box 1166 Harrisburg, PA 17108-1166 Telephone: 717.237.5456 Fax: 717.260.1769 717 260 1769 bgregg@mwn.com© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  2. 2. ABOUT ME Brian P. Gregg I provide practical advice for businesses to help protect their intellectual property. Im passionate about working with the craft brewing industry. Brewers Association member. Home brewer.© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  3. 3. WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO LEARN What trademarks are (and what not trademarks). trademarks) Why early clearance and registration of a trademarks is critical for craft brewers brewers. Why the Craft Beer Industry is fertile ground for trademarks disputes disputes. How to avoid spending time and money on trademark disputes disputes.© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  4. 4. A HISTORY LESSON Connect Product to Source:• Early symbols on clay pots• Indicates where the pot came from - the “manufacturer” manufacturer• Better pots worth more money – “good will”© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  5. 5. HOW TO SPOT A TRADEMARK Connect Product to Source: • Name • Design • Color • Slogan • Other© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  6. 6. WHAT ARE NOT TRADEMARKS Domain Name • greendragonales.com Corporate Name • Green Dragon Brewing Co. Descriptive term • Ale, Stout, Lager, IPA © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  7. 7. WHY REGISTER TRADEMARKS Nationwide Rights • Critical for a brewer that starts local, ensure you can expand Principal Register at USPTO S O • Your mark shows up in searches You Can Use the ® • Signal to others that you own your mark Mark is Presumed Valid Treble D T bl Damages and Attorney’s Fees d Att ’ F© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  8. 8. TRADEMARK CLEARANCE Conduct a Trademark Search Get the Opinion of Counsel p Ensure You Search Common Law Sources Not Just the Trademark Office© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  9. 9. CLEARANCE/REGISTRATIONCOSTS COMPARED TO LAWSUIT$300,000$1,500-3,000 Clearance/ Infringement Registration Lawsuit © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  10. 10. CRAFT BEERALL THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS FOR TRADEMARK DISPUTES © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  11. 11. CRAFT BEERTRADEMARK DISPUTE – MAIN INGREDIENTS Exponential Growth Local/Regional Distribution with Delayed or Slow Expansion Other Industries view Craft Beers Success as a Threat© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  12. 12. INGREDIENT 1 - CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY GROWTHThe number of U.S. breweries rosefrom under 100 to over 1700 in thelast 30 years. – Brewers Association y© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  13. 13. INGREDIENT 2 - BREWERIESSTART LOCAL THEN EXPAND Nationwide trademark rights are critical to long term viability of a brand© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  14. 14. INGREDIENT 3 - OTHER INDUSTRIES And they are taking aim at craft beer beer.© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  15. 15. ROLE PLAYING© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  16. 16. ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WERE TWO LITTLE BREWERIES © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  17. 17. THE GREEN DRAGON BREWING COMPANY© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  18. 18. GREEN DRAGON SOUGHT SAGE ADVICE ADVICE… © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  19. 19. AND SO HE DID…© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  20. 20. THE GREEN DRAGON BREWING COMPANY WAS SUCCESSFUL The brewery created a magical g beer that everyone loved. It was the best beer I h b b in the whole Realm. © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  21. 21. GREEN DRAGON ALE WAS SO POPULARWord spreadabout thiswonderful beer.Knights k dK i h askedfor it by name.© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  22. 22. BUT ALL WAS NOT WELL IN THE REALM… REALM The Green Dragon was not the only dragon g making beer in h R l i the Realm. © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  23. 23. RED DRAGON BREWERY WASFAR FAR AWAY FROM GREEN DRAGON BREWING CO.Red Dragon made his beer way on theother side of the Realm. h f h RHe didnt think about using"RED DRAGON" RED DRAGONas part of histrademark, he didnt hcheck to see if thatcould be a problem. p © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  24. 24. RED DRAGON BREWERY ALSO MADE BEER Red D R d Dragon Ale wasnt Al t very good but Red Dragon Brewery made a lot of it. Soon the same taverns Ale were serving both Green and Red Dragon Ales © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  25. 25. NOT ALL BEERS ARE EQUAL Knights liked GREEN DRAGON ALE but thought RED DRAGON ALE tasted evil.© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  26. 26. THINGS ALSO GOT CONFUSING AT THE LOCAL TAVERNS ale © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  27. 27. GREEN DRAGON WAS CONCERNED© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  28. 28. SO GREEN DRAGON SENT RED DRAGON A LETTER… LETTER © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  29. 29. RED DRAGON WAS NOT HAPPY BUT HAD TO CHANGE CHANGE. © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  30. 30. AND SO GREEN DRAGON KEPT HIS BRAND STRONG © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  31. 31. THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS… Choose distinctive marks you can defend. Screen and clear trademarks to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Register trademarks early. You Y are th "trademark police." the "t d k li " Be proactive - others are more likely to change if contacted before making a significant investment in a brand. © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  32. 32. RECENT NON-BREWERY DISPUTES© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  33. 33. RECENT NON-BREWERY DISPUTES THE BALD EAGLE BREWING COMPANY© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  34. 34. TRADEMARK DISPUTES Gordon Biersch v Oskar Blues (GORDON) v.• Forced Oskar to change to GORDON > G-KNIGHT Franciscan Vineyards v Black Raven Brewing v. Company• Franciscan blocked registration of BLACK RAVEN BREWING COMPANY based on RAVEN for wine. Hansen Beverage v. Rock Art Brewery• Hansen (MONSTER energy Drinks) challenged H D i k ) h ll d Rock Art (VERMONSTER beer ) - case settled Bell s Bells Brewery v The Winery Exchange v.• Bells opposed Winery Exchanges applications to register COPPER BELL (with beer) and filed federal law suit (use vs. registration) © 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  35. 35. TRADEMARK DISPUTES© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
  36. 36. DISCUSSION & QUESTIONS Brian P. Gregg McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC 100 Pine Street, P.O. Box 1166 Harrisburg, PA 17108-1166 Telephone: 717 237 5456 Telephone 717.237.5456 Fax: 717.260.1769 bgregg@mwn.com bgregg@mwn com http://www.mwn.com/bgregg/© 2012 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

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