Wine & Alcohol

News & Analysis as of

The NORTH STAR Guides One to Trademark Issues

Minnesota is known as the North Star State – L’Étoile du Nord. The state of hipsters, unique dining experiences, bitter cold winters, gorgeous summer nights, and fantastic craft brewers also has an impressive craft cocktail...more

Wal-Mart Sues Texas Over Alcohol Sales

Liquor is not sold in any Wal-Mart store in Texas, but the retailer is suing the State of Texas in an effort to sell liquor. On February 12, Wal-Mart filed a lawsuit in an Austin federal court challenging a Texas law that...more

Crafting an Effective Fair Use Defense

The beer industry is rife with trademark legal issues. We’ve discussed quite a fe here, including disputes over brewery names, attempts to register as a trademark the design of a beer glass, or the longstanding issue of...more

TTB Publishes Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda with Plans and Goals for the Coming Year

Late last year, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) published its semi-annual regulatory agenda in the Federal Register. The agenda provides useful insights into TTB’s regulatory plans and goals for the coming...more

Advertising Law - February 2015

FTC Consumer Protection Head Addresses Do’s, Don’ts for Privacy - Calling the current advertising climate “a technological revolution at the intersection of marketing and consumer data,” Director of the Federal Trade...more

California Social Host Laws: Be Responsible; Beware Liability

Forget #deflategate, and what the New England Patriots may, or may not have done to balls used in the American Football Conference championship game this year. There's a bigger issue at stake for those planning on throwing...more

Trademark Review | January 2015

Diageo Enforces Trade Dress Rights in its CROWN ROYAL Drawstring Bag - Diageo owns a registration for the mark CROWN ROYAL for whiskey. Diageo has sold its CROWN ROYAL whiskey in a purple drawstring bag for many...more

Week in Review - January 2015

Committee deadlines for the 2015 session were established this week: - March 20, committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin; - March 27, committees must act favorably on bills, or companion...more

BLACKHAWK Down: Registration Refused Based on Relatedness of Wine & Beer

While the Minnesota state legislature ponders whether consumers should be able to purchase liquor on Sundays within the state, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has once again concluded that consumers are...more

Florida Liquor Stores & Beer Distributors Challenge Tasting Rooms

Liquor stores in Florida and beer distributors are joining forces to challenge the way Florida is issuing licenses that let breweries sell their products in tasting rooms. The Florida Retail Federation is suing the Department...more

Carving Out Small

States have been vested with the responsibility to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages since the repeal of Prohibition. In carrying out this authority, many states have implemented a three...more

Assembly Bill 2073 - Does the New Law Allowing Alcoholic Beverages on School Campuses Create More Problems Than It Solves?

I. Assembly Bill 2073 On August 22, 2014, Assembly Bill 2073 authored by Assembly Member Frank Bigelow was signed by Governor Brown and will become law effective January 1, 2015. Existing law generally prohibits the...more

'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

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