Beer Industry Trademark Concerns

Boston attorney Shannon Sadowski, founder of New Leaf Legal, wrote an engaging piece for the Boston Globe on trademark concerns that craft breweries will be facing as more and more brands emerge in the growing market. These disputes aren’t going to go away, and I’m always amazed by all of the naked ignorance of IP law on display anytime one these disputes rears its ugly head. Before the 24-hour news cycles and the internet, these controversies existed largely in back rooms out of the public eye, where — I believe — they belong. But until I finish building the time machine, “progress” marches on and these disputes are now part of the public brewing world landscape. Any-ha-who, her article, Trouble brewing: fierce competition for beer industry trademarks, is a good overview of the challenges breweries are facing, and even includes a link to Scott Metzger of Freetail Brewing’s wonderful response letter to a trademark dispute. Read it, and be prepared for the next trademark dispute, coming any day now to a brewery near you.



  1. beerman49 says

    Our society is far too litigious (& has been for 40+ yrs!) – why can’t we just get along? That small companies A & B come up with exact or similar names for the same product line, whatever it may be, at roughly the same time cannot be that unusual. However, whoever gets the product to market 1st has a huge edge in the trademark game, even tho the products never may compete head-head in the global market. That Mickey D’s got away w/”cease & desist” on non-burger products/stores called “Mc-something” was patently absurd & set an unfortunate standard. The old Dickens line (I think from “The Pickwick Papers”), “the law is a(n) ass …” certainly applies!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>