The popularity of craft breweries is undeniable. With over 8,000 online breweries, the competition has only gotten stronger. Let alone the virtual market, the addition of RTD cocktails, Kombuchas, and seltzers have further toughened up the completion. So, it’s extremely hard to stand out as a brand. This is why you need to know how to brand yourself. And to do that, you need to know how intellectual property works.
The many issues range from finding an appropriate brand name, getting your brand trademarked, and extending your brand. Here are a few bits of intellectual property advice that you must keep in mind.
Always Find An Original Name
This goes for even names that have not been officially trademarked. Breweries can claim trademark rights even without officially registering it.
The point is that if a brand is already being used by a brewery, people associate that name with that particular brewery. And if you use it regardless, you will be liable to legal actions. It can vary from a lawsuit to a cease and desist letter.
Intellectual Property Rights With Regards To Your Brewery And Your Website
If you come up with a brand name that is already parked online but is not active, there is still some chance for you.
If your brewery has not opened yet, you might need to persuade the owner to sell you the name. But, if the name has been used by you, you can force the current owner to give you the name.
If your on-ground brewery already uses the name, you have trademark rights to claim cancellation or a transfer of the domain name. You can call them out for infringing on your established trademark.
Similarly, you can call out a social media page using your trademark for infringement of intellectual property rights. Different social media sites have similar procedures. It usually involves filing a complaint.
Protect Your Creativity With Trade Dress
This process is not required if you don’t have a distinct can, bottle, or packaging style. Although, if you have designed your style specifically to match your brand, you can apply for a trade dress. It will protect your design from being copied unfairly.
What Should You Do To Protect Your Recipe?
The easiest way to do it is to simply not disclose it. It will come under trade secret, although there is no proper process for it. However, you can consult your attorney and legalize it with appropriate contracts for your employees.
Is There Such A Thing As International Intellectual Property Rights?
Unfortunately, no. Different countries have different laws and systems of operation. That’s why you need to check with trademark experts before expanding your business abroad. Legal conflicts may arise if your destination country has a business with your brand name.
Keep all these points in mind. It’s not just about the recipe, running a successful brewery requires knowledge of intellectual property rights as well.
All images: craftbrewingbusiness.com