Wine & Alcohol

News & Analysis as of

Cook County Circuit Court Dismisses 201 False Claims Act Lawsuits

At a hearing yesterday, Cook County Circuit Judge James Snyder granted the State of Illinois’ (State) Motion to Dismiss 201 Illinois False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by the law firm of Stephen B. Diamond, PC (Relator)...more

Growlers, Howlers, and More: Navigating the Licensure of a Brewery in Rhode Island

Amongst beer enthusiasts, craft beers have become increasingly popular throughout the country in the past decade. With the efforts of local brew enthusiasts, Rhode Island has actively sought to reduce the licensing...more

Discounting Alcoholic Beverages

Happy hours, daily drink specials, and promotions are popular incentives used by retail licensees to attract business, remain competitive, and satisfy their customers’ expectations. In implementing these practices, however,...more

Alcohol Trademarks of the 1800’s: California Uncorks the Past

For the last two years, we have published the Trademark Year in Wine and Beer, a catalogue of each year’s trademark disputes in the alcoholic beverage industry. That is why we were extra excited on April 21, 2016 when the...more

Guidance Provided on Interplay of “Dormant” Commerce Clause and the 21st Amendment

On April 21, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down its opinion in Cooper v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, No. 14-51343. It provides further guidance, at least within the Fifth Circuit, on the...more

2015-16 New York State Budget

On April 13, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the 2016-17 New York State Budget into law. We summarize the highlights of the revenue provisions below....more

Several New Worker's Compensation Provisions Favorable to Wisconsin Employers

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law several new employer-friendly 2016 amendments to the state’s Worker’s Compensation Act. In addition to cutting the statute of limitations for traumatic injury claims in half,...more

OSHA Injury & Illness Recording of Intoxicated Employee Injury

A recent OSHA Interpretation indicates that a workplace injury an employee sustains when he/she is intoxicated must be recorded on the company’s OSHA Injury and Illness Log. OSHA stated that the exception for recording...more

North Carolina ABC Commission To Hold Meetings to Discuss Rule Revisions

Beginning in May 2016, the North Carolina ABC Commission will hold a series of “informal chat sessions” to discuss needed revisions to the ABC regulations. These sessions are not the public hearings that are required during...more

New Michigan Law Allows More Fuel Stations to Sell Alcohol

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill which will allow more Michigan fuel station owners to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption. The new law goes into effect 90...more

Proposed Change to North Carolina Excise Tax Law for Wine Shippers

Wine Shipper permittees may soon be able to file excise tax reports on an annual basis in North Carolina, rather than monthly. A proposed bill that would allow wine shippers to file excise tax reports annually is...more

Location, Location, Location: Fraud Suit Filed Against Anheuser-Busch Over 'Abbey' Beer

As anyone in real estate will tell you, location matters. Apparently, location also matters when it comes to selecting a beer. Recently, a purchaser of Leffe Beers brought a class action lawsuit in Florida federal court...more

Tour Fee Can Vary Again in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Revenue released a proposed rule Monday that would allow breweries in Georgia to charge different fees for admission on tours based on the amount of free tastings and the free souvenir. This...more

Virginia ABC Relaxes Wineries’ Use of Tasting, Retail Sales Areas

In a just-published Circular Letter (16-02), the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced that wineries, farm wineries and breweries may now use areas approved for retail sales and tastings for...more

Supreme Court Update: Hawkins V. Patterson (14-520), Tyson Foods V. Bouaphakeo (14-1146), Nebraska V. Parker (14-406), Sturgeon V....

So many announcements since our last Update. The President announced D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland as his pick to take the late Justice Scalia's seat on the Court; Senate Republicans promptly announced that they...more

A Signed Declaration Of Age Card Is Not The Only Defense To Prosecution For Selling Alcoholic Beverages To A Minor

The verification process of having purchasers complete a declaration of age card is overly burdensome on the licensee, especially at busy nightclubs, taverns, and restaurants. The licensee must weigh valid customer demands...more

Trademark Review | March 2016

TTAB Finds a Consent Agreement Failed to Tip the Balance - Bay State Brewing Company’s intent-to-use application to register the mark TIME TRAVELER BLONDE for beer was rejected based on the previously registered mark...more

Ruling Could Put Deceptive Labeling Cases on Hold

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today placed on hold a consumer class action involving yogurt labels until the FDA issues final guidance on use of the terms at issue in the dispute—a decision that could ripple...more

The Supreme Court - March 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in four cases on March 22, 2016: Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146: Respondents, employees at a pork processing plant of petitioner Tyson Foods, filed a...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Holds that Omaha Tribe’s Reservation Not Diminished by 1882 Statute

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Nebraska v. Parker. In this case, Nebraska challenged the Omaha Indian Tribe’s right to enforce a Department of Interior-approved liquor ordinance on parts of the...more

Healthcare Claim Administrator’s Authorization of Services While Failing to Disclose Alcohol-Related Exclusion Supports Action for...

In Tenet Healthsystem Desert v. Blue Cross of California (No. D069057, filed 3/17/16), a California Court of Appeal held that a hospital was not limited to simply collecting on its bills, but could state causes of action...more

Tied House Laws and Category Management: A Continuing Quandary

On March 16, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a list of frequently asked questions expanding further on a ruling issued in February on application of the federal “tied house law” to...more

St. Patrick Parade Isn't Quite Wheezing but It's Time to Think about a Rescue Plan

The official celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Boston came mercifully to a close with the parade on Sunday, March 20, 2016 in Southie. What, if anything, will halt the forces transforming South Boston (and other parts...more

New Labeling Requirements and Production Standards Apply to All Alcoholic Beverages Imported, Manufactured, and Sold in Mexico

Executive Summary - In response to the growing issue of alcohol abuse in Mexico and the related health problems associated with alcohol abuse, the Mexican government implemented revised labeling requirements and...more

Similar Marks Used for Wine & Beer – Confusing or Not?

After a few of either, the likelihood of confusion may no doubt increase. But in a recent sober judgment, the U.S. Trademark Office ruled that REUBEN’S BREWS for beer is not likely to be confused with RUBENS for wine....more

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