Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear company, filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California claiming federal trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution of a famous mark and cancellation of trademark registration. Anheuser-Busch recently adopted the business name “Patagonia Brewing Co.” and launched a marketing campaign for its new Patagonia beer, beginning at ski resorts in Colorado. Patagonia asserts that Anheuser-Busch has tried to take advantage of the outdoor clothing company’s 40-year-old brand and reputation as a company dedicated to environmental conservation and that Anheuser-Busch has created a logo “strikingly similar” to Patagonia’s own mountain silhouette logo. Patagonia asks that Anheuser-Busch be found to have infringed its marks and that it be stopped from continuing to make its Patagonia beer or using anything that infringes the clothing company’s marks. The company also asked to recover damages and lost profits, as well as punitive damages.

Posted in alcohol beverage law, craft beer, Lawsuits, Litigation, trademarks | Tagged AB, beer, Patagonia | Comments Off

Florida malt beverage suppliers and local bar owners are thrilled over the passage of House Bill 961, which creates an exception to Florida’s “tied house evil” prohibitions and amends Florida Statute 561.42 by allowing distributors to provide, and vendors, or retailers, to accept, branded glassware, free of charge. In general, Florida’s tied house statutes prohibit manufacturers, distributors, and importers from giving, and retailers from accepting, gifts, money, and other things of value in order to avoid the separate tiers from having a financial interest or “tie” to one another. The tied house statutes carve out certain exceptions, such as allowing suppliers to give neon or electric signs, window paintings, posters, placards, and other advertising material to vendors for use inside of their retail establishment. House Bill 961 adds to these exceptions by allowing malt beverage suppliers to provide their distributors with branded glassware that the distributors may, in turn, give to vendors licensed to sell malt beverages for on premise consumption, i.e., bars and restaurants. Each piece of glassware given to a bar or restaurant must bear supplier branding and distributors are limited to giving ten cases of glassware (twenty four pieces of glass per case, or two hundred and forty glasses) per retailer, per year. Vendors are prohibited from selling the glassware or returning it to a distributor for cash, credit, or a replacement. Suppliers, distributors, and retailers must maintain detailed records of the transactions for three years, even if no money is exchanged, such as keeping zero cost receipts. The…

The Brewers Association (“BA”), the trade group of independent American craft brewers, launched a seal that informs consumers that the beer was produced by an independent brewery. The BA release says, “to proudly display that independent spirit, the Brewers Association has created a symbol to unify craft breweries from around the country. This symbol—the independent craft brewer seal—gives beer lovers an easy way to identify true small and independent craft brewers, something they have indicated is important to them.”   In explaining the logo, BA CEO says, “independent craft brewers continue to turn the beer industry on its head by putting community over corporation and beer before the bottom line.” To get the seal, the brewery must comply with the below: Have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice. Meet the BA’s craft brewer definition, and Sign a licensing agreement. For more information click here.    

Posted in beer, craft beer | Tagged beer, brewers association, Craft, what is craft | Comments Off