6th Circuit Slams Distributor’s Attempt to Transfer Craft Beer Brands Without Brewer’s Consent

It’s a fairly typical clause in most distribution agreements, if not specifically stated in most state beer franchise laws – a promise that your distributor won’t transfer the franchise or the business (you want both and you’ll see why in a second) absent the brewer’s consent (which will not be “unreasonably” withheld).   The 6th Circuit […]

FDA Sued By Consumer Advocacy Groups for Allowing Corporations to Skirt Regulatory Process For GRAS Designations

The Center for Food Safety, Environmental Defense Fund, Center For Science In The Public Interest, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Environmental Working Group have filed a lawsuit against the FDA (you can read the complaint here) alleging that the FDA’s rule for Substances Generally Recognized as Safe (the “GRAS” rule) is undermining the integrity of the […]

Enforcing And Monitoring Quality Control In Your Licensed Food and Beverage Products – A Smidgen of Inspection May Be Enough

The Northern District of Illinois recently issued an opinion in a trade dress case between two french press coffee manufacturers that should serve as a reminder to everyone licensing trade dress to third-parties that crafting decent contractual quality control principles is only half-the battle in defeating claims that you’ve granted a naked license that could […]

Dissent In Texas Three-Tier Case Contains Powerful Indictment Of Strict Enforcement Of Cross-Tier Ownership

As you all probably have heard, in Cadena Commercial v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Texas Supreme Court recently weighed in on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s decision to deny a license for retail sales to a group of convenience stores that wanted to sell alcohol because through a chain of ownership, one of the […]

Naming Your Product Or Restaurant After An Element From A Larger Story? That’s Probably Trademark Infringement And You’re Probably Liable… Viacom Shuts Down Krusty Krab Themed Restaurant Infringing on SpongeBob Universe

We’ve written before about the potential liability associated with using some famous reference to a movie or a book as the name of your business or product.   Just think about it for a second, there’s a reason you want to use the name.  The association you’re looking to achieve between your product and the […]

Brooklyn Coffee Shop Sues Starbucks Because Unicorn Drinks Were So Last Year

In typical Brooklyn fashion, a coffee/juice shop in the borough says it was first on the Unicorn drink scene and arguing it developed, garnered favorable press attention for serving its Unicorn Lattes several months before Starbuck’s unleashed its Unicorn Frappuccino.   The End Brooklyn has filed a federal suit (you can read the complaint here) stating […]

Millercoors Wins “Not From Australia” Lawsuit Over Claims That Foster’s Marketing Misleads Drinkers

In one of latest wins for brewers against deceptive labeling lawsuits brought against domestically made beers over branding that arguably conveys they are imported, Millercoors has scored a win for its Foster’s brand against a putative class action looking to cash in against the company.  The lawsuit (you can read the amended complaint here) alleged that […]

Lawsuit Challenges Wisconsin’s Unconstitutional Ban On Foreign Butters That Don’t Submit to the State’s Arbitrary Grading Process

Protectionist statutes meant to insulate dominant state industries by restricting or banning sales of foods and beverages that compete with local products aren’t just inane, they’re unconstitutional.  That hasn’t stopped the State of Wisconsin from keeping (and mildly enforcing) a law dating back the the 1950s that requires the grading of any butter sold in […]

Bud Light Lime Lime-a-Rita not False Advertising Says – 9th Circuit … Compared to a Fictional Budweiser Lime-a-Rita or a Margarita

The 9th Circuit has upheld the District Court decision dismissing the false advertising case against Anheuser for Bud-Light Lime Lime-a-Rita. For those not familiar with this false advertising lawsuit, consumers brought claims against Anheuser alleging that the use of the work “Light” in the Bud Light Lime Lime-a-Rita name was misleading because the alcoholic beverages […]

Helpful Tips to Ensure Employees or Paid Influencers That Endorse Your Product on Social Media Comply With Advertising Regulations

Let’s face it, the fact that a celebrity or industry influencer can cause a sell-out of your products after just a few endorsements is a testament to the value of social media.  But given that the FTC and other agencies and organizations involved in regulating advertising don’t often bring enforcement actions against small companies, you […]

Kona Brewing Sued For Falsely Advertising It’s Made in Hawaii

Kona Brewing prides itself on its Hawaiian origins.  Take a look at that website, even the little lizard has some kind of surfer tattoo.  Back in 2010, the brand sold to Craft Brew Alliance and according to Wikipedia, “Kona Brewing Company brands are also produced at Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, Oregon and Redhook Ale […]

Sazerac Sues Distiller Over Fireball Trade Dress – What Do You Think?

That picture pretty much sums up the gist of this complaint that Sazerac has filed against Caribbean Distillers (makers of Sonavavitch vodka (you’re reading that right)) for a product they are be planning on making… that’s right, it doesn’t exist yet.  But that’s not stopping the good folks who make Fireball from protecting their market […]