News & Analysis as of

When the TTB says no but the Pa.L.C.B. says yes: When do you need a COLA for off-premises growler sales?

Simply put, if you are a Pennsylvania brewery and looking to sell your products in growlers or crowlers for off-premises consumption, the answer to the question posed above is ALWAYS! Recently, we have been approached by...more

Four T’s at Four: What Breweries Need to Know About Their IP Before They Consider an Exit

“Forties at 4” was a time-honored Friday tradition among my engineering classmates in college. After our last class, several of them would purchase Miller (if we could find it in a 40 oz) or Old English or some other malt...more

The Trademark Board Cancels the Trademark Registration for HOPNOTIC Beer

In another disappointment to the beer brewing industry, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceled a trademark registration for the mark HOPNOTIC for beer on the basis that it is confusingly similar to liquor brand...more

This Cold Bud Is For You: SEC Sanctions Anheuser-Busch for “Chilling” Employee from Communicating with SEC

On September 28, 2016, the SEC announced that Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Dodd-Frank whistleblower violations. The SEC’s order stated that AB InBev violated...more

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Lessons in Joint Venture FCPA Compliance

Just in time for National Beveridge Day comes the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action involving Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), where the company paid $6 million to settle charges that it violated the FCPA and...more

Craft Beer Trademarks (Part 2)

In Part 1 we noted the growth in the craft beer industry in Canada and the U.S., and how this has spawned some interesting trademark disputes. The case of Brooklyn Brewery Corp. v. Black Ops Brewing, Inc. (January 7,...more

When the Family Business is Beer

St. Joseph's University's Haub School of Business sponsors the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, and I am honored to be a member of its Advisory Board. Yesterday, September 27, 2016, the Initiative...more

Banking & Financial Services E-Note - September 2016

In an article published in the September / October issue of Commercial Real Estate Investment Magazine, Drew Demers provides guidance on how commercial loans and bank-owned real estate sales have changed due to growth in...more

Craft Beer Trademarks (Part 1)

The number of licensed breweries in Canada has risen 100% over the past five years to over 600. In Alberta and B.C. alone, the number of breweries doubled between 2010 and 2015. Industry trends are shifting, driven...more

RAMP Under Act 39 of 2016: Who is Required to Complete Server/Seller Training

As you may be aware, Act 39 of 2016 (“Act 39”) took effect on August 8, 2016, and it brought with it much confusion with regard to the many aspects of the Liquor Code. One area that has brought the most confusion is with Act...more

The Do’s and Don’ts of Growler Labeling

With growler sales getting more popular in Pennsylvania, we decided to examine the relevant federal and state laws with regard to the refilling of growlers if they do not bear the labeling of your licensed business. To...more

States Are Popping the Cap on ‘High Alcohol Beer’: Ohio Lawmakers Authorize Brewers to Increase Alcohol by Volume

Several state lawmakers have increased the alcohol by volume (ABV) caps on beer production in recent years, and now, craft brewers in Ohio will also have the opportunity to brew “high alcohol beer.” With House Bill 37, which...more

Texas Court Strikes Down Prohibition on Payments for Brand Rights

Late last week, a district judge in Texas declared unconstitutional under the Texas Constitution a provision of the state’s Beer Industry Fair Dealing Law (i.e., the beer “franchise” law) that expressly prohibits a brewer...more

Alberta Government Favours Local Breweries in New Mark Up Regime

Earlier this month, the Alberta government implemented a new subsidy for Alberta-based craft breweries and increased the provincial mark-up on all beer imported into the province. The introduction of the subsidy is part of an...more

The Katten Kattwalk - Issue 10

The Katten Kattwalk discusses legal issues in the fashion industry affecting the trademarks, patents and copyrights associated with companies, brands and products. Please see full Newsletter below for more information....more

Champagne Velvet – A Brand Resurrected

I was in Indiana this past weekend and, as per my custom when in the Hoosier State, I went to pick up one of my preferred Hoosier brews. Right near the Upland Dragonfly was a six-pack of Champagne Velvet with a scribble at...more

Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative Introduced

As the food and beverage industry trends toward products and practices that promote consumer choice and transparency, the Beer Institute has recently announced a new Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (the “Initiative”), which...more

Attorneys Getting Crafty About Firm Names

I consider myself to be, among other things, a craft beer attorney. I enjoyed speaking last week at the Midwest Craft Brewers Conference as part of a great panel on brand positioning, trademarks, and the use of social media...more

Table for Two: Food and Beverage Industries Face Common Challenges

Seeing the explosive growth of craft breweries, a long-time coffee producer considers expanding into the lucrative beer market. That migration to craft-beer production is part of a growing wave. Across the U.S., one to...more

The TTAB Delivers Another Blow to the Beer Industry in Denying Registration for Home Brewing Co.

Beer companies have been hit hard lately when trying to register trademarks. As recently reported on our liquor blog, a beer distributor was denied registration of a logo that featured a skyscraper resembling the Empire...more

Pennsylvania Tax Changes and Tax Amnesty Program

As part of the budget package, the Pennsylvania General Assembly made many significant changes to various Pennsylvania tax laws and the unclaimed property law (including a tax amnesty program) that are estimated to generate...more

Convenience Stores and Grocery Markets: Are You Ready to Sell Wine To Go?

As many Pennsylvania residents are now aware, on June 8, Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1690 into law. More commonly known as Act 39, it becomes effective just days away – on August 8....more

Craft Brewers Scrap Over Catchy Names

The craft-beer industry is running low on names. There are more than 4,600 craft breweries in the U.S. – California leading the nation with over 500, according to the Brewer’s Association....more

Brewery Count Reaches Historic High

Craft brewers are still growing, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. American craft beer...more

Update: Can the University of Kentucky Own Exclusive Rights in KENTUCKY for Clothing?

In a prior posting, we discussed a recent case in which the University of Kentucky claimed exclusive trademark rights in KENTUCKY for clothing. The University protested the use by a small brewer, Colin Fultz, of his mark...more

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