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Lindsey A. Zahn, author of On Reserve, was recently named to Lawline’s Top 20 Women Faculty of 2016 for a course called “Introduction to Wine Law.” In selecting the top 20, Lawline “focused on the top-rated, most viewed and thoughtfully reviewed 2016 courses taught by a woman.” From Lawline directly:

Lindsey’s CLE course, Introduction to Wine Law,  provides a brief history of U.S. wine regulation, addresses some of the contemporary issues in wine law, and offers insight on some of the most convoluted laws in existence since the repeal of Prohibition. Lawline members love how this presentation ‘opened [their] eyes to the extent of regulation of the industry’ through ‘well-organized’ and ‘useful slides,’ in a course that was both ‘fascinating’ and ‘informative.’ With a solid 98 percent rating, we say cheers to that!

See Lawline’s Top 20 Women Faculty of 2016: Lindsey A. Zahn.

Introduction to Wine Law surveys the brief history of wine regulation in the United States, addresses some of the contemporary issues in wine law, and offers insight on some of the most convoluted laws in existence since the repeal of Prohibition. The course can be viewed through Lawline here.


Wine Law Program Reims Champagne

Wine Law Summer School Program Reims France

This year, the University of Reims’ Wine & Law Program is in its seventh session and will discuss topics related to wine law and intellectual property rights in the wine sector. The Program is a 10-day intensive course program in English from June 19, 2017 through June 28, 2017 at the Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne and applications for the Program are currently being accepted. The course will focus on topics like international and comparative aspects of geographical indications, trademarks, and intellectual property rights. The faculty includes Steven Charters, Silvere Lefevre, Stefan Martin, Stephen Stern, Jean-Marie Barillere, myself, and Theodore Georgopoulos. Participants are mostly professionals but law (or wine-related discipline) students are also welcome.

Courses and Seminars include:

  • Trademarks & Geographical Indications in Wine Marketing
  • Introduction to the European Protection of Geographical Indications
  • Seminar on the Practice of the EUIPO
  • The International System of Protection for GIs and TMs applied to the Wine Sector
  • Trademarks & Geographical Indications for Wines & Spirits in U.S. Law
  • Trademarks & Geographical Indications for Wines & Spirits in Australia
  • Special Event: Discussing Wine & Spirits Law with FIVS

The summer school program also includes visits to local Champagne landmarks and relevant legal institutions, wine tasting, sightseeing, and socializing.

Mr. Georgopoulos runs the Wine & Law Program at the University of Reims in the Champagne region of France. The Program includes the summer school session, hosted each year in English, as well as a one-year, full-time program, taught in French (DU vitivinicole et des spiritueux).

To find out more about the Program or to apply, see the official Wine & Law Program website here.

You can read more about my time at the 2011 Wine & Law Program in the article Life After Champagne: Synopsis of the 2011 Wine & Law Summer Program and 2015 Wine & Law Program at the University of Reims in Champagne, France.

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Massachusetts Announces Alcohol Beverage Task Force

Last month, Massachusetts announced the creation of the Treasurer’s Alcohol Task Force, which will create an independent group of professionals to review the state’s legal and regulatory framework of alcohol beverages. See Treasurer Deborah Goldberg Announces Alcohol Task Force. The Task Force will generate an assessment of the current climate and advise on any necessary improvements. E. Macey Russell, Partner at law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, will chair the group.


Building Your Practice Through Blogging and Podcasting

Join us June 21st at 1:00 PM ET to 2:00 PM ET for a free webinar on Building Your Practice Through Blogging and Pocasting, courtesy of the ABA Women Rainmakers Division. I will be speaking with Nicole Abboud, Esq., who is the owner of Abboud Media and a podcaster, lawyer, and college professor. She hosts The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast, which is an excellent source of information for lawyers considering opening their own practice and going solo. It is hosted by Carole M. Bass, who is a trusts and estates attorney at Moses & Singer LLP in New York City. 

TTB federal definition cider pear apple

On January 23, 2017, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued a temporary rule (T.D. TTB–147) in the Federal Register that amends the federal regulations for hard cider. The temporary rule amends TTB regulations to implement changes made to the federal definition of “hard cider” in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. TTB’s modified definition broadens the range of wines that can legally be classified as “hard cider” for excise tax purposes. 


As originally reported by the Napa Valley Register, two vineyard “houses” in Napa are currently in disagreement about the use of a similar name. See Lawsuit Claims Confusion Between 2 Napa ‘Vineyard Houses.’ Vineyard House Winery in Oakville is disputing the use of “Vineyard House” by The Napa Vineyard House. On February 1st, The Vineyard House, LLC filed a complaint against Napa Vineyard House, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. See here. The complaint alleges trademark infringement by The Napa Vineyard House. The complaint further alleges that the use of the term “Vineyard House” by The Napa Vineyard House confuses consumers and creates unfair competition, especially considering that the properties are located close to one another.


Champagne France University Reims Wine Law Program Trademark Geographical Indications

This summer, I will return to the University of Reims to teach another course on wine law at the Wine & Law Program.

This year, the Program is in its seventh session and will discuss topics related to trademark law and geographical indications for spirits. The course will focus on topics including introduction to wine marketing, the European protection of Geographical Indications, European trademark law, and Australian and U.S. protection of Geographical Indications and Trademarks. The faculty includes Stephen Charters, MW, Silvère Lefevre, Stefan Martin, Stephen Stern, and Theodore Georgopoulos. 


Must-Visit Piemonte Wineries: Rizieri and Ceretto

Rizieri Langhe Arneis wine Diano d'Alba winery PiemonteLast fall, I traveled to several wine regions in Italy on vacation. I spent some time in the gorgeous Piemonte region, which is home to one of my favorite wines (Barolo). The trip was well planned, as the harvest was timely this year, the quintessential Nebbiolo grapes were at their peak, and it also happened to be the start of truffle season. (The weather was also, thankfully, perfect.) I spent a lot of time visiting vineyards, tasting, and learning more about the region and talking to winemakers to learn more about their craft, history, and profession. Two of my favorite visits from the trip were to Rizieri and Ceretto.


Likelihood of Confusion USPTO Ram Horn WineRam’s Gate Winery, LLC (opposer) filed a notice of opposition against application Serial No. 862692961 before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (The application was filed by Opal Moon Winery, LLC on May 1, 2014 and sought registration on the Principal Register based on applicant’s intent to use the mark in commerce.)  Applicant sought to register the mark RAM HORN in standard characters for goods identified as “wine” in International Class 33. See Ram’s Gate Winery, LLC v. Opal Moon Winery, LLC, Opposition No. 91221205 (December 8, 2016) [not precedential]. Opposer claimed there was a likelihood of confusion with three registrations, including Registration No. 4074683 for the mark RAM’S GATE in standard characters for “wine, sparkling wine” in International Class 33. Applicant denied such allegations.


Submitting a Petition for a New Grape Variety to TTB

Loureiro petition grape variety American wine TTBLast year, I represented a client before the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) with respect to petitioning for the addition of a new grape variety for use as a variety on American wine labels. The grape variety, Loureiro, has been used on imported wines from Portugal and Spain. Its use in the United States is expanding, but before our petition was filed, TTB did not recognize the use of “Loureiro” as a grape variety for American wines. It thus could not be approved as a varietal wine. Several U.S. producers were actually very creative with their labels and used the phonetic spelling of Loureiro as their fanciful name (in an attempt to circumnavigate TTB’s regulations with respect to grape varieties).