Brewery names and competitions

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Mojnet

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When I first thought about naming my home brew operation, I figured the sky's the limit. I mean, if I wanted to name my brewery "North American Brewing Company," who would mind? I have no intention of marketing my brew or starting up an actual company. I'm also mindful of costs, so I'd only put labels on beer given to friends, etc.

I came up with two completely different names for my home brewery: the first, Lazy Greyhound Brewing Co, named after my lethargic dog. The second, Arch City Brewers (I live in Columbus, OH, which used to be known for its distinctive streetcar arches).

So, I've just entered some of my beer in the State Fair and I am now concerned about taking a name "public," since labels are encouraged for display purposes. "Arch City Brewers", though not taken as far as I know, is pretty ambitious when it comes to my very small operation. Should I be worried about laying claim to something that is too big? What about copyright issues? If I photoshop an image of the city taken from the state archives, is this enough to make it "my own"?

Should I go back to the good old "Lazy Greyhound Brewery," or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Are competitions pretty laid back when it comes to names and labels?

-- Moj
 
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Mojnet

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Alright, you've convinced me to go big. Maybe I should double my production as well .... I'll use any excuse ;)
 
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If you do a websearch, but still feel like you don't want to 'infringe' on anyone's copyright or trademark.....try doing a search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office > http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=t9afgf.1.1

And if you feel you've got a great brewery name and want to protect it (and if you have a little cash to spare) then perhaps you can register it at the USPTO as well?

There's always hawks out there who love to steal good ideas.
I like both of your brewery names....no worries, my brewery already has a name.
 

eschatz

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sounds like a great brewery name (arch city). :mug:

:off: in reference to steel's name... that is the most god awful vile liquid i've ever been drunk off of. 211 is the number of the beast! after getting drunk off of that stuff i suddenly realized the horror of being homeless.
 

Steel-Reserve

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Haha, yeah well hello to you too! LOL. i always liked 211, because when i didn't have much money, there she was always willing to take care of me. :) but is there a web site with patents and or trademarks that i can look up.
 
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Sorry that my link didn't work....I'll try again.

This is the homepage to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

http://www.uspto.gov/

Go to the left side of the homepage, click on 'Trademarks'. #3 on the list that pops up is the search database "(TESS)".

Plug in your name and see if anyone else owns it.....

**TEAS is the online form to register your own
 

natefrog255

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So if I were to name a beer "AIC Amber" and have a cropped picture of a band's CD album cover without words --- could this become an issue?

All of beers I am trying to name with some history to me in the past whether its a location, interest, etc. So above would be a reference to a popular band in the 90's.

Obviously now it doesn't mean anything b/c I am new but I am young enough if I perfect the craft and dream big, never know what could happen. But just am curious.
 

zeg

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What about copyright issues? If I photoshop an image of the city taken from the state archives, is this enough to make it "my own"?
No, photoshopping someone's photograph does not make it your own. Rather, you probably have a copyright to your addition, but without permission from the original rights holder, you cannot reproduce their component. That's the safe answer---it's very difficult to know for sure how much transformation is necessary. However, there was a lawsuit with regards to the rather famous Warhol-like Obama campaign image, because the base image was a copyrighted photograph. I don't recall how it came out (or whether it's finally resolved), but when you consider the level of transformation that went into that work, I'd be cautious. When you're embarking on a commercial endeavor, you need to be especially careful because you get less leeway with regards to your intention.

That said, in many cases government-owned or government-produced images may not be copyrighted or may be available under free licensing terms. I'd investigate before using it in a public way, especially if your use could be construed as commercial.
 

DirtyOldDuck

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Although it doesn't answer the question of trademark, most state's Secretary of State maintain a database of businesses registered to do business in the state. You can do a business name search for "Arch City Brewers" on the SOS's site for Ohio and find that there are no business with that registered name. By the way, I think the Lazy Greyhound name has a lot more character - just my opinion (full disclosure - I use "2 Bad Dogs Brewing.")
 

dkmitg

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Most competitions don't allow any identifying marks except for the number they assign you to avoid bias judging anyway but im not sure how this contest is run
 

BarefootFriar

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If it's in the archives, then it may be public domain, in which case you can reproduce it however you want. In literature, it's the life of the author plus fifty years. I don't know what it is in art (including photographs). A quick Google may answer that.
 
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