Wine & Alcohol

News & Analysis as of

Louisiana Excise Tax on Liquor Could More Than Double

The State of Louisiana is facing a severe budget shortfall, and legislators are looking at all avenues to increase revenues. Unfortunately, alcoholic beverages provide an easy target and the state’s excise tax levied on...more

April 17, 2015 NC Legislative Update

Legislators are back in Raleigh after a week off and it doesn’t look like anything has changed after the extra time they were given to reflect on the session. Just as we’ve seen before: - There’s a new bill that would...more

Doctrine of Merger Not a Good Blend for Seller of Sonoma Winery Property

In Ram’s Gate Winery, LLC v. Joseph G. Roche, et al. (No. A139189 & A141090, filed 4/9/15) (Ram’s Gate), the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District held the doctrine of merger did not extinguish a...more

Week in Review - April 2015 #2

Minnesota legislators resumed the 2015 session Tuesday with a full plate and six weeks remaining. Gov. Mark Dayton’s ambitious education and transportation spending proposals face serious challenges from the radically...more

Four-Pack of Louisiana Alcoholic Beverage Bills Filed

The 2015 Louisiana legislative session starts on April 13, and the pre-filed bills have been pouring in over the past few days. Four of the pre-filed bills warrant special consideration for the craft beverage industry....more

Class Action Lawsuit Claims Wines Contain Unsafe Levels of Arsenic

Four California residents brought a lawsuit earlier this month against 28 wineries for producing, manufacturing or distributing wine in California that allegedly contains inorganic arsenic in amounts far in excess of what is...more

Spirits Industry Under Fire: What You Need to Know About Class Action Litigation

In this issue: - Where did these cases come from? - What are these cases about? - Who is driving these cases? - What are the Plaintiffs suing for? - Who is a likely target? - How can...more

Week in Review - March 2015 #4

House Republican Budget - The budget outline House GOP leaders released Tuesday proposes $2 billion in tax cuts as part of their two-year budget plan. It also spends nearly $40 billion, excluding their recently...more

Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Tito’s Case to Move Forward — Court Denies Motion to Dismiss

On March 18, 2015, a federal judge in San Diego issued an eagerly anticipated ruling on the motion to dismiss filed by Fifth Generation, Inc. (the producer of Tito’s Handmade Vodka), effectively denying Tito’s motion to...more

Week in Review - March 2015 #3

Friday marked the first committee deadline and thus a flurry of activity at the Capitol to act favorably on bills in their respective policy committees. MNsure - When Governor Mark Dayton’s supplemental budget...more

Craft Beer Getting Boost in West Virginia

Last Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted 86-11 to allow breweries to give out samples at their breweries. The bill also allows breweries, brewpubs, and other retailers to sell up to 4 growlers of beer a...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends Series

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Nestle Purina hit by lawsuit over allegedly poisonous dog food. A lawsuit...more

Seeing Double Trademarks on St. Patrick’s Day? It’s Probably the Guinness

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, which in Boston means loads of Kelly green, a famously-litigated parade, and a huge spike in the consumption of Guinness. The iconic dark stout travels in equally recognizable containers, each...more

Dram Shop Liability Likely Dead For Another Year in Maryland

Business owners achieved a victory in the Maryland legislature this month, as both the House Bill and Senate Bill introduced to establish dram shop liability were given unfavorable reports by legislative committees. Dram shop...more

Winery Fails to Prove That Wines and Apple Juices Are Related Goods

Domaines Pinnacle, a Canadian corporation and producer of alcoholic ice apple wines, filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to register the mark DOMAINE PINNACLE for “apple juices and apple-based...more

NC Bills To Allow Direct Sales by Distilleries and Expansion of Liquor Products to Festivals and Trade Shows

North Carolina Senate Bill 24 and House Bill 107 are parallel bills pending before the North Carolina legislature. If passed, they would allow distilleries located in North Carolina to sell their product directly to visitors...more

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

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