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

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  • 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
    Change the name and move on.


    • #3
      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, 11:40 PM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by TTB Helper

        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..


        • #5
          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.


          • #6
            Trademark issues

            Originally posted by TTB Helper
            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.


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                I almost have experience with this. We named our brewery Sawmill Brewing Co, knowing that there is a brewery in New Zealand called The Sawmill Brewery. No problem, right. But it turns out that with beer rating apps such as untappd, and Facebook communications, there is actually a fair amount of confusion. I would recommend changing the name just for this purpose, legality aside.

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