A trademark is any device, such as a logo, name, or slogan, that differentiates your brand from competitors. Virtually every can, bottle, keg, or other container of alcoholic beverages sold to consumers have trademarks on their labels. Trademarks also appear on signage, barrels, tap handles, websites, and anywhere else your customers might encounter your products.
Because trademarks are irreplaceable, they are among the most valuable things that manufacturers own. And given how crowded the beverage industry has become, it is easier than ever to accidentally infringe on another manufacturer’s trademarks. To ensure that your trademark can be used without interference from competitors, it is important to:
- 1) Conduct a trademark clearance before using it in the marketplace. Clearing a trademark is a process in which an attorney searches for preexisting trademarks to evaluate whether your trademark might infringe someone else’s.
- 2) Register your trademarks with the Federal government. Registration provides instant, nationwide protection for your trademark. It also makes your brand much more appealing to people who may want to buy your business someday.