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the beach house wine by douglas green trademark registration likelihood of confusionA recent application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office sought to register the mark The Beachhouse, A Wine by Douglas Green (in standard characters) for wines in International Class 33 on the Principal Register. See In re LDGB (PTY) LTD, Serial No. 85944842 (April 29, 2016) [not precedential].  The application for registration was originally refused by the Examining Attorney under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d), on the ground that Applicant’s mark resembled the mark BEACH HOUSE WINERY in standard characters (“winery” disclaimed), previously registered for wine in International Class 33, and was likely to cause confusion. Applicant appealed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and requested reconsideration.

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On Reserve Exclusive Trademark Package Through 2016


On Reserve Special 2016 Trademark Package

On  Reserve is excited to announce an exclusive trademark package through Lehrman Beverage Law, PLLC. The package will extend to new clients and trademark registrations through the end of 2016. For more information, please contact us at trademarks@bevlaw.com or via phone at 202-449-3739 ext. 4. Please mention On Reserve Special 2016

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americana trademark law alcohol beveragesA recent application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office sought to register the mark Old Americana (in standard characters) for alcoholic beverage except beers in International Class 33. See In re Luca Mariano Distillery LLC, Serial No. 86293520 (June 23, 2016) [not precedential].  The application for registration was originally refused by the Examining Attorney under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d), on the ground that Applicant’s mark resembled the mark AMERICANA registered for vodka in International Class 33 and was likely to cause confusion. In addition, the Attorney refused registration under Section 6 of the Trademark Act based on Applicant’s failure to comply with requirement to disclaim the word “OLD.” Applicant appealed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and requested reconsideration.

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A recent application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office sought to register the mark Tres Vidas (with a tree) for tequila and tequila infused with vitmanis in International Class 33. See In re Tres Vidas Organic, Inc., Serial No. 86609789 (August 5, 2016) [not precedentialTres Vidas USPTO liquor trademark spirits trademark law].  The English translation is “three lives.” The application for registration was originally refused by the Examining Attorney under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d), on the ground that Applicant’s mark (when applied to the identified goods) resembles a prior registration for DOS VIDAS for tequila and thus likely to cause confusion, mistake, or to deceive. The mark in the DOS VIDAS registration also contained a translation indicating that it translated to, “two lives.”

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Amending the TTB Basic Permit: Overview, Options, and Tips

You’ve finally gone through that grueling process of getting licensed on the TTB level and you have all your formulas and COLAs in hand. Production is taking off and business has been better than ever. While you’re glad to see such great success, production space is limited and you are in dire need of expansion. However, the thought of going through the permitting process again is daunting—and you are not quite sure you want to have two separate DSP permits. Luckily, you’ve heard something about TTB amendments, but you do not know what this entails.

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On September 15, 2016 at 2:00 PM EST, I will be presenting a CLE on beer, wine, and distilled spirits law with my colleague John Messinger. The CLE, titled “Beer, Wine & Distilled Spirits Law: Federal Regulation 101″ will have a live broadcast and will also be available on demand. A summary is below:

Beer Wine Distilled Spirits Law Federal Regulation 101When a consumer pops open a bottle of wine or sips his favorite scotch, rarely does one consider the level of regulation the beverage has passed through in order to find its way to market and on the dinner table. Alcohol beverages, however, are subject to a web of federal, state, and even local regulations that are often arcane, unclear, and reflective of Prohibition-era attitudes. This seminar will start with a discussion of the history of alcohol beverage regulation, along with an overview of the federal agency that has primary jurisdiction to regulate alcohol beverages. Then we’ll examine the types of licenses required for industry members and classification of products, along with formulation requirements for beer, wine, and spirits. Finally, we will discuss labeling, advertising, and recent updates to federal laws, class action lawsuits, and direct shipping to consumers.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Introduction (History of beer, wine, and spirits regulation in the U.S.)
  • Licensing (Federal Permits)
  • Classification of Products
  • Labeling
  • Advertising
  • Hot Topics in Beer, Wine and Distilled Spirits Law
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Is Home Brewing Co. Merely Descriptive of Beer?

Home Brewing Co TTAB USPTO Trademark Merely Descriptive Beer LawRecently, an application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office sought to register the mark Home Brewing Co. in standard characters on the Principal Register for “Beer; Beer, ale and lager; Beer, ale and porter; Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter; Beer, ale, lager, stout, porter, shandy; Beers; Black beer; Brewed malt-based alcoholic beverage in the nature of a beer; Coffee-flavored beer; Flavored beers; Malt beer; Pale beer; Porter” in International Class 32. See In re The Homebrewer, LLC, Serial No. 86273728 (July 19, 2016) [not precedential]. Even though the application disclaimed the words “Brewing Co.,” the Trademark Examining Attorney initially refused registration. The Attorney refused registration of the mark on the grounds that the mark is merely descriptive of the identified goods. See 15 U.S.C. § 1052(e)(1). When the refusal was finalized, Applicant appealed and requested reconsideration (the latter of which was denied, thus resuming the appeal before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board or TTAB).

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Lessons from Marketing a Wine and Beverage Law Practice

I was recently interviewed by Bentley Tolk for his podcast Legal Marketing Launch, which helps attorneys focus on marketing their legal practice. In the episode, I talk a lot about my blog and the development of the blog over the last several years, as well as practicing in a niche area like food and beverage law. For those interested, the episode can be accessed at the middle of Bentley’s blog here in the horizontal blue bar (you can press the triangle/play button).

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Wine-Beer-Spirits-Law-CLECLE International will host its annual wine, beer, and spirits law conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado this September 22nd and 23rd. This year is the program’s 21st anniversary of the wine, beer, and spirits conference and, from its lineup, it promises to have some interesting topics in beverage law. Topics include the following:

  • Non-Traditional Trademarks in the Alcohol Beverage Industry
  • Intersection of First Amendment and Tied-house Law
  • Third Party Providers and the New Direct Delivery Channel
  • TTB Update
  • State Regulators Panel
  • Strategies and Tactics in Supplier-Distributor Disputes
  • Ethics
  • Wine Labeling
  • False Advertising

and  several others.

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Uinta Brewing Duo Compass CansUinta Brewing Company (Applicant) filed an application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to register on the Principal Register the mark DUO in standard characters for beer. The Trademark Examining Attorney refused registration under § 2(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d), for the reason that Applicant’s mark (as used in connection with Applicant’s goods) resembled a registered mark DUO as likely to cause confusion. (The registered mark is for wine and is owned by a Chilean wine company named Alto de Casablanca, S.A. but was originally registered by Franciscan Vineyards in Rutherford, California.) When the Examining Attorney’s refusal was issued, Applicant brought an appeal before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), and both the Applicant and Examining Attorney filed briefs. In re Uinta Brewing Company, Serial No. 86333439 (June 29, 2016) [not precedential]. As is standard in a likelihood of confusion analysis, the TTAB considered whether or not there were similarities between the marks as well as similarities between the goods at issue.

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