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Thread: Advice needed.. Name taken before we could get our feet off the ground..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Gonzales, LA
    Posts
    10

    Advice needed.. Name taken before we could get our feet off the ground..

    We filed for our DBA and formed our LLC in March of 2013. We've honestly been dragging our feet a bit and I've had a few life matters interfere with getting the brewery operational since, but still have 100% intention in opening and using the chosen name. Last year, a brewpub in another state pops up and opens with our exact name and has become established in their area. Here we are, yet to begin filing with the TTB and only an optimistic idea about when we'll be able to open. You can see we're this is heading...

    We really only have a minimal amount of capital invested in the name, but a large amount of emotional investment and can't imagine it any other way. So do we keep using the name anyway & not worry about it? Change the name and move on? Do we have any legal ground if we wanted to pursue it?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    309
    Change the name and move on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florence, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    409
    Good advise right there...

    Antebellum Brewing
    Bayou Blues Brewing
    Ascension brewing - Uh Sorry...
    Force Five Brewing
    Tropical Depression Twelve Brewing (What Katrina Was as a child)
    Category 5 Brewing
    Last edited by Scott M; 09-26-2016 at 11:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pevely, Mo.
    Posts
    112
    Agree.

    However, If you need to double check the possibility of using the name just so you can sleep at night, go to the USPTO website and do a search for it. If the trademark has been registered, then you're goose is cooked.

    If the other group hasn't trademarked the name, you could file for the trademark. This would/should (I'm not an attorney) give you protection and rights to the name in any state they aren't already doing business in. But there is still the confusion factor for your customers, especially if the other guys are located anywhere near you. Social media stuff can be challenging as well.

    If you want to discuss further, or if you need help with the TTB or trademark stuff, feel free to e-mail me at gprindyjr@gprindy.com or you can call me at 636-209-1807. I'll be glad to help if I can. We have an IP/Trademark attorney on staff.

    Cheers!

    Gary
    Gary Prindiville Jr.
    CEO Prindiville & Associates, LLC & TTB Helper, LLC
    You make the beer, we'll take care of the paperwork.
    www.gprindy.com
    www.ttbhelper.com
    636-209-1807
    gprindyjr@gprindy.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florence, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    409
    Quote Originally Posted by TTB Helper View Post

    If the other group hasn't trademarked the name, you could file for the trademark. This would/should (I'm not an attorney) give you protection and rights to the name in any state they aren't already doing business in. But there is still the confusion factor for your customers, especially if the other guys are located anywhere near you. Social media stuff can be challenging as well.
    The other issue is you inherit their reputation, be it good or bad. You also face any negative repercussions due to any social displeasure taken by the other brewery and their following. For me it isn't even worth the additional headaches. This happened to a start-up I visited a year or so ago. They just renamed the brewery and continued on, never looking back. For them, the fighting ended there. No lawyers, no drawn out disputed and unnecessary effort to reclaim identity in the market place. JMO..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    8
    You should think about a new exciting name. Forget the previous one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    7
    Having to rename your startup is frustrating, but its not the most difficult hurdle you'll have to overcome when starting a brewery or brewpub. My initial idea over five years ago, went through 3 different name changes, multiple site locations in different cities, just to be moved to a new state and needing to completely rewrite the business plan to sync up with the new local beer scene. then licensing permits and dealing with waste water management! arghh! I'm sure it was a good name, but all the more reason to act quickly when the new name hits you. I'm originally from Louisiana, PM me if you want to hear a couple ideas i thought of that could work for you.. cheers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Mason Neck, VA, USA
    Posts
    1

    Trademark issues

    Quote Originally Posted by TTB Helper View Post
    If the other group hasn't trademarked the name, you could file for the trademark.
    Trademarks are a "First in Use" type of registration (as opposed to a "First-to-File" registration as with patents). Even if another entity with your same name has not registered before you, they can protest the application based on their earlier use (documented, of course). There is a required waiting period in the trademark registration process that is built in to allow the public to comment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
    Posts
    202
    Give a call to Mother Earth Brew Co or Mother Earth Brewery and see what they think about your situation. I'm sure they will have some good advice for you to consider.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CO, FL, NY
    Posts
    2
    I had to make this type of decision recently. I decided that I could give it the green light from the legal side, but the idea that I had not even launched the business yet and was already worried about this wound up being the deciding factor. You are essentially signing up for a lifetime of wondering if someone is going to get mad at you and worrying if your branding efforts are being diluted, and that won't likely go away... it will be like an emotional black cloud for you. I moved on and in a solid 3 hour session came up with a new name.

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