Wine & Alcohol

News & Analysis as of

'Tis The Season – How To Avoid Liability During The Most Wonderful Time Of Year!

With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas and Hanukkah just around the corner, it is time to consider how to have a merry season, while protecting both your employees and your company. Giving forethought to...more

Craft Beer In Review – 2014

The craft beer segment concludes another successful year in 2014 with some astonishing statistics released by the Brewers Association earlier this week. “It’s remarkable to see how beer has evolved in the past century....more

Wasted Away in Margaritaville: With Unascertainable Class, District Court Denies Class Certification in Skinnygirl Margarita Case

Alleging violations of Illinois statutory and common law, Amy Langendorf brought suit on behalf of “Any and all persons who purchased ‘Skinnygirl’ Margarita spirits in Illinois from March 1, 2009 until the date notice is...more

Tips for Serving Alcohol at Company Parties

'Tis the season for spreading holiday cheer. While planning the company holiday party, remember that employers should act responsibly in serving alcohol to party guests. ...more

You May Not Be Entitled To Use Your Own Name

Working with several artisan food and alcohol producers as clients, we frequently notice that using one’s own name (first, last, or both) as a brand name in association with one’s goods is very common in these industries....more

Top 12 Legal Mistakes Made by Startup Breweries and Distilleries

Undertaking any entrepreneurial endeavor can be a daunting task. It can get very complicated when doing so in a highly regulated environment, such as the one that governs the manufacture and sale of alcohol related products....more

Chris Leslie, GC of Hitachi Data Systems, Talks the Science & Art of Winemaking on @HsuUntied [Video]

Today, my guest is Chris Leslie, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of Hitachi Data Systems. Chris decided to plant some grapes in his backyard in Livermore which produces about 600 bottles of wine per year. With his...more

Four Loko Liability Ruling Notable, but Not Game-Changing

A California court recently held that Four Loko is not protected from liability in a wrongful death lawsuit. Fiorini v. City Brewing Co., LLC, 2014 WL 5743133 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2014). In this case, the parents of a...more

A Trademark Year in Wine and Beer: Our 2014 Holiday Buyer’s Guide to Disputed Beverages

If you are hosting or attending a party this holiday season, you probably need to pick up something to drink. This year, why not pick up a conversation starter as well? See if your local liquor store (in our neck of the...more

Top Ten Ways To Hold A Company Party – Without Getting Sued

With the Holiday Season in full swing, many employers ask us about the wisdom of holding company parties where alcohol will be served. They generally want to know about the risk involved if an employee drinks too much at the...more

No IP Holes in this Crystal Head

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink here over the past several years discussing the protection of non-traditional trademarks. We’ve also written about the importance of layering various intellectual property rights (trademark,...more

FDA’s new menu labeling and vending machine requirements: 10 key answers for food businesses

The Food and Drug Administration has finalized its rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards of chains with at least 20 units operating under the same name and in connection with vending...more

The Shiny Bright Red Holiday Star Brand(s)

In the context of the holiday season, what comes to mind when you see a shiny bright red star?...more

Holiday Parties: Can You Sue the Bar or Homeowner Who Served the Alcohol?

It’s that time of year again, when holiday parties abound and the number of buzzed drivers or intoxicated drivers on the roads increase, putting many innocent pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists, and motorists at risk. We may...more

Comparing Franchise Relationships and Beer Distribution Relationships

Beer distribution laws differ from traditional franchise laws in many ways, but they do share some commonalities. As a matter of fact, many states now regulate the relationship between those who brew or import beer into a...more

Planning your workplace holiday party? Read this first!

And, as luck would have it, I presented a webinar on Wednesday with David Weisenfeld of XpertHR on “How to Make Your Workplace Holiday Party Sparkle — With No Legal Hangovers,” and got some great questions from the attendees....more

Oktoberfest Special: Störtebeker, What’s in a Beer Name?

We brand geeks at MarkIt to Market occasionally like to explore the history of interesting trademarks. A recent visit to Germany inspired a look into the history of the Störtebeker beer brand, which derives its name from one...more

Avoiding Holiday Liability

Back by popular demand, here is our annual “Avoiding Holiday Liability” issue of the Workplace Word. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. However, while you are enjoying the holiday cheer and a cup of hot chocolate, don’t...more

New England Employers Beware Holiday Opening Bans

Over the past several years, many retailers have moved up the start times of their “Black Friday” sales so that they start on Thursday—which is Thanksgiving—instead of Friday. Despite some public disapproval, this move...more

Food and Hospitality Bites - Autumn 2014

IN THIS ISSUE: - Allergen labelling – the new requirements - Licensing and deregulation - Late Night Levy – Update - The new Tobacco Products Directive - The Horsemeat Scandal - The Alcohol Misuse Manifesto...more

S744 – Appropriations Act of 2014 (Budget)

Transfer of ABC Commission to Department of Public Safety - The 2014 state budget bill transfers the North Carolina ABC Commission (“ABC Commission”) from the North Carolina Department of Commerce to the North Carolina...more

Skinnygirl Squeezes Past Class Action For Deceptive Advertising

Amy Langendorf alleged that Skinnygirl Margarita, a pre-mixed alcoholic beverage, contains the non-natural preservative sodium benzoate, rendering the product’s “all natural” label false and misleading. Langendorf filed suit...more

H1050 – Omnibus Tax Law Changes

Effective 1 May 2015, the ABC Commission will require compliance with tax laws by ABC permittees and will have new enforcement mechanisms to review and confirm state tax compliance....more

S734- Regulatory Reform Act of 2014

The Regulatory Reform Act, SB 734, went into effect on September 18, 2014. It includes provisions that allow colleges with brewing programs to obtain licenses to begin selling beer produced during the program to wholesalers...more

Starting a Craft Brewery in North Carolina - Steps to Take Before You Sell a Single Bottle of Beer

Before your finely-crafted product can ever be someone’s quiet reward after a long day or before your craft brew can ever take home a Great American Beer Festival® gold medal, you must take certain steps to ensure your...more

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