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Old 02-28-2013, 05:13 AM   #1
BoxMan
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Let's say I'm interested in going "nano" in about 3 to 5 years (Not planning on it as a main source of income, just want to be able to sell it - I still have a lot of market research, etc. to do)
Now, let's say I have an idea or two for fun recipe names, and unique recipes that I haven't seen anybody do so far. This is - I'm experimenting with my extract recipes now, and when I make the jump to all grain, I can tweak them even more. But I know what I'd like them to be, and I already have them "named."

Now let's also say that those particular names are already in use - even though my brews are different styles... would I still be able to use my names for my original brew?

Are there any real rules, regulations, or laws against using the same name as another brew? Is it likely that I would run in to any problems with the breweries who already use these names?



 
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:03 AM   #2
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If the name is trademarked then no you can't use it. The thing about the recipes according to what I have researched (I am planning similar to you) is you only have to submit the recipe to the feds if you use anything other than the 4 main ingredients. So if you add fruit or anything like that you have to register it.


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Old 02-28-2013, 06:54 AM   #3
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Cool, thanks for the info. Great starting point for a whole new string of google searches.

 
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxMan View Post
Now let's also say that those particular names are already in use - even though my brews are different styles... would I still be able to use my names for my original brew?

Are there any real rules, regulations, or laws against using the same name as another brew? Is it likely that I would run in to any problems with the breweries who already use these names?
Generally using names that are already in use is bad karma, on top of potentially exposing you to trademark issues.

There was a big issue between New Holland and Alpine a few years back over the use of "Ichabod" in the name of a pumpkin beer (obviously a Ichabod Crane / Sleepy Hollow reference). There was no [discernable] intent to copy on either side, and the beers were not even distributed in the same states. Yet New Holland was able to get Alpine to stop using the name.

#2 -- Oskar Blues used to have a beer called "Gordon" after Gordon Knight, who had passed away. They were approached by brewery Gordon Biersch who claimed that naming a beer "Gordon" infringed on the trademark for the name of their brewery. Oskar Blues ended up renaming the beer G'Knight to avoid the issue.

I'd avoid naming a beer anything identical to an existing beer. When it comes to similar names, it's a judgement call. But be aware that you might be exposed.

 
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
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I'll second this notion. Some years ago there was an incident between Starbucks and a little coffee shop named 'Doubleshot Coffee'. While Starbucks never actually took the lawsuit to court, they could have, because the word "Doubleshot" is trademarked by Starbucks. Once a company TM's a name, it's their duty to police that brand. Starbucks also went after a bar owner selling a beer named Star Bock, that he had privately brewed. So, yeah be careful.

 
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. I've been doing some TESS and COLAs searches. Only one that I planned on using is actually trademarked, the other isn't. I'll probably play it safe, anyway. That is, in 3-5 years. I actually didn't even know that I had to trademark my business names (unrelated to brewing), I thought once I registered them that would be it. I guess I've still got a lot to learn.

I did read on some thread here that I can trademark a name with "intent to use", but to register a brew name I have to already have my ttb license and have current plans to brew it. Oh well, I've got more important things to worry about for now.



 
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