Archives: Alcohol Beverage

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Four Loko Liability Ruling Notable, but Not Game-Changing


A California court recently held that Four Loko is not protected from liability in a wrongful death lawsuit.  Fiorini v. City Brewing Co., LLC, 2014 WL 5743133 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2014).  In this case, the parents of a 23-year-old college student sued the beverage company after their son drank two cans of Four Loko and then ended up in a confrontation … Continue Reading

Liquor Privatization Battle in Washington Continues Over Shortfall Liability

By Ashley Vulin

The recent privatization of the liquor industry in Washington made headlines all over the United States. Implementation, though, has not been without some hiccups. The Association of Washington Spirits and Wine Distributors (the Association) renewed focus on the law when it filed suit this spring against the Washington State Liquor… Continue Reading

The Federal Government Shutdown and TTB

By Jeffrey Giametta

Approximately 483 federal employees that work for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have dutifully reported to work today “for the orderly shutdown of TTB.” We have all heard how that the inability of Congress to pass a spending bill is creating a shutdown of the federal government, but what does that really … Continue Reading

USPTO Finds Likelihood of Confusion Between Wine and Water Trademarks

Up until now, there has been a pretty clear line between alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages. However, the Trademark and Trial Appeal Board of the USPTO in Joel Gott Wines, LLC v. Rehoboth Von Gott, Inc. found that there is a likelihood of confusion between trademarks used for wine (here, JOEL GOTT) and water (GOTT LIGHT).

The USPTO found that winery-branded… Continue Reading

Publication of Texas Advisory and Its Importance for Alcohol Beverage Producers

In the last five years, the role of marketing portals and pick-and-pack warehouses in the direct shipping of wine has evolved from stake in the ground phase to nascent maturity. The most significant third party players have shifted from trying to find a legal, profitable model to converging on a core set of legal principles that are slowly finding buy-in from… Continue Reading

National Academy of Sciences Publishes Paper on Future Climate Change and Shifts in Growing Regions for Viticulture

By Peter Sergienko

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on April 8, researchers have projected changes in suitable growing regions for wine grape production in 2050 using runs on 17 different global climate models and assuming two different carbon emissions scenarios. The findings project major global geographic shifts… Continue Reading

Cary Greene, Former General Counsel to WineAmerica, Joins Davis Wright Tremaine

Cary Greene, former general counsel to the influential association of U.S. wineries, WineAmerica, has joined Davis Wright Tremaine in its Washington, D.C. office. During his tenure at WineAmerica, Greene successfully supported the passage of winery direct-to-consumer shipping legislation in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and worked with distillers … Continue Reading

Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals Clarifies Permitting Pathways for Wine Businesses on Farmland

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has issued two important new decisions regarding wine businesses on Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) land. Across Oregon, wineries and other wine-related businesses utilize several different permitting pathways to secure land use approval for their activities. The rules governing these pathways are convoluted, and… Continue Reading

I-1183 and the Alcohol Distribution Chain

Even as the various litigation questions get asked and answered to attract headlines, we are continuing to support many clients in each tier of the alcohol supply chain to deal with the changes brought by I-1183 and its implementation. The WSLCB and suppliers, distributors, and retailers are full-steam ahead on spirits privatization — including ongoing… Continue Reading

New Oregon Winery Land Use Law Signed

By Michael J. Gelardi

This week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed House Bill 3280, which creates new land use rules governing wineries on farmland. This legislation is an important step forward for the Oregon wine industry and anyone who cares about sustainable agriculture. The bill does however leave several important questions unanswered.

Oregon’s… Continue Reading

Jesse Lyon on the Oregon Wine Industry, KXL’s Northwest Vine Time

This is an interesting time for the Northwest wine industry. Economic recession and a sophisticated and demanding consumer market have created unique challenges and great opportunities for winemakers throughout the region. In addition, a new executive director for the Oregon Winegrowers Association will bring new ideas and direction to the industry.… Continue Reading