Video blog on trademarks and the craft beverage industry. Intellectual property is important today as there are more craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries than ever before and many similar brands are chosen independently of each other. Also, many of these businesses need to take their IP more seriously in case of a buyout.
Here is a lightly-edited transcript of the vlog:
Hi, I’m Anthony Verna, managing partner of Verna Law, P.C., with a focus on Intellectual Property and Advertising Law.
You know, some of my favorite clients are my beverage clients and yeah, maybe it has to do with the free bottle of wine or free can of beer here every once in awhile. But really it’s because they’re thinking long-term about their business and the brands that they have for all of their different types of beverages.
It’s very important because they think about that end goal, which is are they going to be bought out and if they’re going to be bought out, are all of the trademarks registered? Is the due diligence done? What is the goal of actually naming a certain product? In 2016, there were the most lawsuits ever trademark infringement suits and trademark opposition proceedings between beverage companies.
We have more breweries. We have more distilleries. We have more wineries than we’ve ever had before.
And that those numbers just keep growing as states find that agricultural businesses bring in tax revenue. Therefore, those laws get liberalized. And so we have more breweries and more distilleries and more wineries. That means that all of these businesses wind up branding independently of each other and therefore they go to the Patent and Trademark Office. They filed the trademark and boom, there’s a collision.
And then, in 2017, we had more beverage industry trademark disputes.
These numbers keep growing. Bigger companies like Anheuser Busch are looking to buy out more and more craft breweries, regional breweries. In order for that to happen, the registrations have to be done properly. The due diligence has to be done properly. Sometimes these bigger companies do lend a hand to the small, smaller breweries. But, ultimately, it’s up to all of these smaller beverage companies to line up their intellectual property correctly to understand what’s registered, what’s not, what could cause a collision and how not to wind up as a defendant in a trademark infringement suit.
And that’s what I really like about all of our small beverage companies, all of our distillery, clients, all of our beer, our brewery clients, all of our winery clients. They’re all looking towards that end: how can we brand something properly? How can we do our due diligence to avoid problems? How do we not wind up just as another statistic? I don’t want to call it the craft beverage wars, because that’s not ultimately what what they’re out to do, but it’s what happens and it’s happening too often. So do the due diligence and the clearance. Let’s sit down and let’s talk about your craft beverage branding. Thanks very much.