brewery name

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wickman6

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I know this is no legal column, but does anyone know how I go about protecting my brewery name?
I have one in mind, and don't really want it ripped off as its personal to me.
I've researched it a little bit, and I've read that I need to publish it before I copyright it.
Does posting it on here count as publishing?
Thanks!
 
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register it with the state. you can get a LLC type license for a small fee from the secretary of states office.

edit: you may need to pay extra taxes, fees and licensing since its a brewery, that would be through the feds though
 
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wickman6

wickman6

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Its just my home brewery, not a business. Sorry, should've been more clear.
 
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It must be a clever name for you to go through all the trouble of trademarking/copyrighting it. Do you intend on eventually starting a business or anything? If not, you would probably be safe just by using it. I don't think I've ever seen an actual brewery steal a name from a homebrewer on these forums yet...
 
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wickman6

wickman6

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I feel its a bit clever, but I really don't see a commercial brewery taking it either. I'm just curious more than paranoid.
Thanks for the tips though!
 

alecoholic

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You got a name with your Birth Certificate, a homebrewer who needs a name for his homebrewery has a screw or two loose in the ego department.
 

Fizzycist

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You got a name with your Birth Certificate, a homebrewer who needs a name for his homebrewery has a screw or two loose in the ego department.

Nah, there are plenty guys here who name their homebrews. Not just the beers, but their homebrewery. Especially guys who like to make labels or enter competitions. No ego tripping here, just a guy taking pride in his work. :mug:
 

joshstokes122

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Fizzycist said:
Nah, there are plenty guys here who name their homebrews. Not just the beers, but their homebrewery. Especially guys who like to make labels or enter competitions. No ego tripping here, just a guy taking pride in his work. :mug:

Hell, I'm getting a shirt made with my homebrewery name on it for my birthday. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but it will be my brewin' shirt. "super awesome brewery" isn't ego tripping is it?
 

SittingDuck

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OK, so here's the response from an actual trademark and copyright lawyer (me). You can't copyright a name, names are protected by trademark. You can register a trademark federally or with your state ( in most states). You don't necessarily have to register the name, however, because it is protected by use in commerce. That's the kicker, though--you can't actually register a name federally unless you are using it in interstate commerce, and I would strongly advise you against selling your homebrew, interstate or otherwise. Just use the name, and enjoy the hobby. Worry about how to stop an in ringer if somebody actually infringes.
 

Airborneguy

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OK, so here's the response from an actual trademark and copyright lawyer (me). You can't copyright a name, names are protected by trademark. You can register a trademark federally or with your state ( in most states). You don't necessarily have to register the name, however, because it is protected by use in commerce. That's the kicker, though--you can't actually register a name federally unless you are using it in interstate commerce, and I would strongly advise you against selling your homebrew, interstate or otherwise. Just use the name, and enjoy the hobby. Worry about how to stop an in ringer if somebody actually infringes.

Thanks for clearing that up. I was pretty sure I read the part about the requirement that you actually USE the name for the trademark to hold up.
 

SittingDuck

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Yup, you can only protect marks you are using. Keeps people from squatting on valuable marks.

Now, the OP could sell shirts or some other stuff with the name on it and register that way, but that wouldn't give protection for beer making, necessarily.

Still, OP, if you really want to register, that's how I'd do it.
 

bkorver

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I named my home brewery. I even had my wife (a graphic design artist) create a label. Hell, I even started a blog about it. Not for ego, for fun. This is a hobby, and hobbies are supposed to be fun, right? If someone steals it and starts a professional brewery with my name, I would be mad if the beer sucked, but the name would be fun to say...

Sincerely,
The head brewer for Boats 'N Hoes home brewing
 
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I named my home brewery. I even had my wife (a graphic design artist) create a label. Hell, I even started a blog about it. Not for ego, for fun. This is a hobby, and hobbies are supposed to be fun, right? If someone steals it and starts a professional brewery with my name, I would be mad if the beer sucked, but the name would be fun to say...

Sincerely,
The head brewer for Boats 'N Hoes home brewing

I would like to discuss an investment proposal with you. Please contact me at my office in my house when you are able, but not after 6PM because that is family dinner time and my parents don't like late callers.

Brennan Huff
Co-CEO
Prestige Worldwide
 

alecoholic

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I wasn't using the word ego in a pejorative sense but in the sense of self identity. I find it very bizarre that somebody would need a brewery name for their homebrew. If you needed some type of qualifier for some reason like a competition or something why wouldn't you just use your own name. I think that you have a strange perception of your sense of self if you need a fictitious name.

Even in commerce, you don't really need a fictitious name. Did Arthur Guinness, Samuel Smith, Frederick Miller, Adolph Coors, Frederick Pabst, Bernard Stroh, Gerard Heineken, Theodore Hamms, Joseph Schlitz, Henry Weinhard, John Molson, John Lebatt, David Yuengling, Adolphus Busch or Bernhard Anheuser screw up by using their own name instead of some silly gimmick? If these real brewers didn't need some silly little name, why would a homebrewer?

What is wrong with a persons sense of self when instead of calling their homemade beer, my beer, they call it the hurr durr brewing beer? When you make a pizza do you call it hurr durr pizza company or my homemade pizza? When you make cookies do you call it hurr durr cookie company or my homemade cookies?
 

MyNameIsPaul

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alecoholic said:
I wasn't using the word ego in a pejorative sense but in the sense of self identity. I find it very bizarre that somebody would need a brewery name for their homebrew. If you needed some type of qualifier for some reason like a competition or something why wouldn't you just use your own name. I think that you have a strange perception of your sense of self if you need a fictitious name.

Even in commerce, you don't really need a fictitious name. Did Arthur Guinness, Samuel Smith, Frederick Miller, Adolph Coors, Frederick Pabst, Bernard Stroh, Gerard Heineken, Theodore Hamms, Joseph Schlitz, Henry Weinhard, John Molson, John Lebatt, David Yuengling, Adolphus Busch or Bernhard Anheuser screw up by using their own name instead of some silly gimmick? If these real brewers didn't need some silly little name, why would a homebrewer?

What is wrong with a persons sense of self when instead of calling their homemade beer, my beer, they call it the hurr durr brewing beer? When you make a pizza do you call it hurr durr pizza company or my homemade pizza? When you make cookies do you call it hurr durr cookie company or my homemade cookies?

Its just for fun. Quit crapping on the hobbyists choices for the way they enjoy their hobby. You sounds like you'd be a real fun party guest....
 

Cubslover

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MyNameIsPaul said:
Its just for fun. Quit crapping on the hobbyists choices for the way they enjoy their hobby. You sounds like you'd be a real *********

Fixed it for you.
 

alecoholic

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Oh youre right, my bad, I'm going out to trademark ********* brewing right now. I'm making a burger too so I'll copyright ********* burgers while I'm at the lawyers office. Wow this trademark stuff is so much more fun than brewing and drinking beer.
 

organ

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From what little I know regarding the subject trademarks are useless unless you possess the legal(read: financial $$$$$) ability to enforce them.
 

wegz15

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All those brewers you named don't make craft beer. Most breweries now use some other name.... they must have HUGE ego problems.
 

eanmcnulty

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alecoholic said:
Oh youre right, my bad, I'm going out to trademark ********* brewing right now. I'm making a burger too so I'll copyright ********* burgers while I'm at the lawyers office. Wow this trademark stuff is so much more fun than brewing and drinking beer.

Alecoholic is kind of a cute name...
 

eanmcnulty

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I use my name on labels. Its kind of fun: Ean McNulty Brewing Co. I don't think anyone is ever going to take it. It really isn't my name. It just sort of happened.
12 years ago I was getting my brand new AOL email address, and my real name is so common there's no way I would ever get it. I didn't like adding numbers and underscore, so I just made up the name Ean McNulty. Who cares what your email address is if most of us have use numbers...
Well, 12 years later, some friends call me Ean, and I just kept using it. Thus, Ean McNulty Brewing Co. No, I'm not a real company, just a guy in a garage with a label for my homebrew. It inspired my wife to make some labels for her baking.
But, I'm sure I would be so concerned about a brewery taking the name of my home brewery.
 

wegz15

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alecoholic said:
You got a name with your Birth Certificate, a homebrewer who needs a name for his homebrewery has a screw or two loose in the ego department.

Your real name must be al ecoholic
 
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wickman6

wickman6

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Wow, this turned into fun! I actually enjoyed reading through the thread, quite entertaining. I'm glad the vast majority of you have a sense of humor and a lighthearted spirit for the hobby. And for the one who doesn't, well that's his problem.

The way I see it, I have my father's family name, and my son does as well. I'm very proud of it, in fact it's my handle on here. My name and what it means when my time comes will become my legacy.

What I choose to name my beer is exactly that, a choice. And it's my choice. My beer is not my legacy, it's my hobby. My home cooking isn't my legacy either, or my cookies. The way I raise my children is my legacy, what I teach them. Of all the things I will teach them, brewing will be one. If they take to it, I hope it is half as rewarding to them as it has been for me.

But my name? To name my beer after myself? That to me is egotistical.

I take a lot of pride in what I do, I work with my hands for a living and I stand behind that work. I take pride in my beer as well, and my family and friends that I share it with already know that about me. And they already know my name.

Bottom line, my name is too good for my beer.
 

bkorver

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Wow, this turned into fun! I actually enjoyed reading through the thread, quite entertaining. I'm glad the vast majority of you have a sense of humor and a lighthearted spirit for the hobby. And for the one who doesn't, well that's his problem.

The way I see it, I have my father's family name, and my son does as well. I'm very proud of it, in fact it's my handle on here. My name and what it means when my time comes will become my legacy.

What I choose to name my beer is exactly that, a choice. And it's my choice. My beer is not my legacy, it's my hobby. My home cooking isn't my legacy either, or my cookies. The way I raise my children is my legacy, what I teach them. Of all the things I will teach them, brewing will be one. If they take to it, I hope it is half as rewarding to them as it has been for me.

But my name? To name my beer after myself? That to me is egotistical.

I take a lot of pride in what I do, I work with my hands for a living and I stand behind that work. I take pride in my beer as well, and my family and friends that I share it with already know that about me. And they already know my name.

Bottom line, my name is too good for my beer.

Thank you for putting this into perspective. My take is my label puts a smile on my face, like a hobby should. Then I pour the beer... :mug:
 
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Wow, this turned into fun! I actually enjoyed reading through the thread, quite entertaining. I'm glad the vast majority of you have a sense of humor and a lighthearted spirit for the hobby. And for the one who doesn't, well that's his problem.

The way I see it, I have my father's family name, and my son does as well. I'm very proud of it, in fact it's my handle on here. My name and what it means when my time comes will become my legacy.

What I choose to name my beer is exactly that, a choice. And it's my choice. My beer is not my legacy, it's my hobby. My home cooking isn't my legacy either, or my cookies. The way I raise my children is my legacy, what I teach them. Of all the things I will teach them, brewing will be one. If they take to it, I hope it is half as rewarding to them as it has been for me.

But my name? To name my beer after myself? That to me is egotistical.

I take a lot of pride in what I do, I work with my hands for a living and I stand behind that work. I take pride in my beer as well, and my family and friends that I share it with already know that about me. And they already know my name.

Bottom line, my name is too good for my beer.

That's an interesting take on the matter. I don't find it egotistical to put your name on a beer, though. I don't put my name on my beer to boast. I put it there for the same reason I write my name on a holiday card or bottom of my email. It's from me, to you. I could put something up there like Obsidian Black Brewery, but I don't own a brewery. If I hand a guy a beer that I don't really know, he'll have a hell of a time trying to get in touch with me if he tries to google my imaginary brewery. Additionally, you don't ever have to worry about trademarking or copyrighting the name, because it's already yours. While I see the appeal of coming up with cool names, I reserve that for the beers themselves.
 

alecoholic

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I usually just put the style and date brewed on a piece of tape which gets transferred with the beer from the fermenter to the keg. I just finished brewing an IPA and its labeled "IPA 1-8-12." Sometimes if I'm feeling randy I'll also label it with hops like "Willamette/goldings ESB" but that's about the extent of it. If I ever needed to differentiate it from some other IPA I'd just append my name to the front. I brew once a week so don't have time to make cutesy names for each beer. The best homebrews I've ever had didn't have labels or names. If you want to use a name for fun, don't let me stop you but why does fun require a trademark?
 

Airborneguy

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Don't back pedal now! You threw it out there that we are all egotistical, insulted our sense of self, and told us we had screws loose. That's a tough one to pull back on.

Signed,

Airborneguy
Head Brewer
A Righteous Man Brewing Co.
 

alecoholic

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I'm not back pedaling I stand by my original statement. I never used the words egotistical, I used ego, ie. a sense of self. I think that people who name their homebrewey have a strange sense of their own self. I don't get it other than as a joke but why trademark a joke?
 
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wickman6

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I think the last time I labeled anything I fermented was wine for my brother's wedding in 2007.
The label carried my name, but as a signature not a brand.
I barely have time to brew, let alone make cutesy labels. This isn't about all that.
For those that do, hey more power to ya!
This was a simple question based on a curiousity I had, and if you didn't have anything constructive to say about it that's fine. But I might suggest keeping out of it since the question obviously doesn't apply to you.
The last thing I wanted to do was start a debate topic, I just hoped to learn something.
And one day I would dream to open a brewery, one that will carry my brewery name, not my own.
That said, if and when that happens, I'd be more than happy to have my signature on the label, backing my product.
Exactly the way Jim Koch does on every Samuel Addams beer he produces.
 
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