Monday, March 7, 2016

21 Beer Trademarks Filed on Single Day as Craft Beer Industry Continues to Grow

Every time I search the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) website I run across multiple trademark applications for beers and breweries. As I've blogged about before, many breweries will file federal trademark applications for their brewery's name and for each new beer they release.

For example, on March 3rd twenty one federal trademark applications related to beer were filed by various breweries. A snapshot of those applications are seen below.
Many breweries take advantage of the intent-to-use application offered under the Trademark Act (15 U.S.C. 1051(b)). As long as an applicant has a bond fide intention to use a trademark in commerce in the near future, it can file this application to reserve priority in a name even before it is being used.

The large number of beer-related applications also crowds the field of trademarks in the craft beer industry. This makes a trademark search before using a name even more important (although a search should always be done no matter what). 

Imagine undertaking significant marketing efforts to develop and promote a specific beer only to receive a cease and desist letter from another brewery who started using a similar name before you. The costs of re-branding far outweigh the cost of an attorney to perform that initial search.

The best tip for choosing a beer name - make up a new word or choose something that is arbitrary and has nothing to do with beer. Those are the strongest types of trademarks and the easiest to protect.

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