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Sep 09, 2019

What Liquor Brands Should Know About Trademarks

In a recent federal court ruling, a judge articulated once again why famous brands enjoy greater rights than those that lack renown

The case pits two giants in wholly unrelated fields— clothing versus alcoholic beverages.

The lesson? Liquor sellers should exercise caution and select brand names that are not the same or are not similar to those of existing “famous” brands, even in completely unrelated fields. » Read More

Jun 29, 2018

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Fair Use of “Old Taylor” to Describe Colonel E.H. Taylor’s Historic Distillery Location

In a recent opinion, Sazerac Brands, LLC v. Peristyle, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision finding in favor of a Kentucky bourbon distillery that their use of “the Former Old Taylor Distillery” or “Old Taylor” was classic fair use of Sazerac’s trademarks OLD TAYLOR and COLONEL E.H. » Read More

Jun 04, 2018

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Finds There is “Something More” Sufficient to Show That Restaurant Services are Related to Alcoholic Beverages

In In re Honeyhole Sandwiches Inc., Serial No. 87138294,  the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) agreed with the Examiner in refusing the registration of HONEYHOLE SANDWICHES because it was confusingly similar to HONEY HOLE under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.  » Read More

Apr 24, 2018

Mezcal Margarita, Anyone?

In the spirit of upcoming Cinco De Mayo, it’s time to think about your favorite margarita recipe.  I happen to prefer my margarita with mezcal instead of tequila.  And while mezcal, known as tequila’s spicy and smoky cousin, may certainly taste “distinctive,” the TTAB found that a bottle configuration for mezcal was not distinctive enough for registration. » Read More

Mar 12, 2018

When Your Rebranding Gets “Stone”-Walled

Earlier this month, Stone Brewing Company (“SBC”), a craft brewery in Southern California, sued Molson Coors Brewing Company and MillerCoors LLC (together “MillerCoors”) for trademark infringement and related unfair competition claims arising from MillerCoors’ use of the STONE® trademark in advertising its KEYSTONE beer.  » Read More

Oct 05, 2016

The Trademark Board Cancels the Trademark Registration for HOPNOTIC Beer

In another disappointment to the beer brewing industry, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceled a trademark registration for the mark HOPNOTIC for beer on the basis that it is confusingly similar to liquor brand HPNOTIQ.  Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. — which owns the HPNOTIQ mark and boasts several trademark registrations for HPNOTIQ, including registrations for alcoholic beverages, liquor and other goods — brought an action to cancel the HOPNOTIC mark owned by Cricket Hill Brewing Company, Inc., of New Jersey. » Read More

Aug 05, 2016

The TTAB Delivers Another Blow to the Beer Industry in Denying Registration for Home Brewing Co.

Beer companies have been hit hard lately when trying to register trademarks.  As recently reported on our liquor blog, a beer distributor was denied registration of a logo that featured a skyscraper resembling the Empire State Building.  The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) found that the use of the skyscraper image would dilute the famous trademarks held by ESRT Empire State Building LLC. » Read More

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