Avoiding Trademark Apocalypse: Why Every Brewery Should Clear, Register, and Regularly Monitor Its Trademarks

A solid up-front trademark clearance search will help avoid later (and costly) rescue missions.
A solid up-front trademark clearance search will help avoid later (and costly) rescue missions.

Just a couple of days ago, we commented on the “Apocalypse” trademark dispute that forced one Oregon brewery to change its name. Today, we have a follow up, but not the kind we had hoped to report.

While monitoring a client’s trademark, we discovered that just ten days ago, someone in Nevada has attempted to register “Brewing Apocalypse” in Class 032 for beer. It’s a 1(b) filing, which means they’re not currently using that name across state lines (or maybe not at all).

Perhaps this application is supported by a co-existence agreement allowing them to proceed with using “Apocalypse”—but we do not know. It is possible that the applicant will face the same problems that haunted the brewer in our previous article. What we can say, is that before you spend the money to file your trademark, you want to be doggone sure it has at least a chance of making it to registration. Nobody wants to pay unnecessary money toward protecting a brand name that you may not even be using yet.

Taking the time to have your lawyer properly clear your mark before you hit the Trademark Office is well worth it, so you can make an informed decision before moving ahead with the registration process. And, remember, even if you successfully register a mark, US trademark law requires that registrants stay on top of it. By not regularly monitoring a mark, a registrant can lose the strong protection it paid for in the first place, and someone else might be able to adorn the brand that you worked hard to build.

Reiser Legal offers a full package of trademark clearance, registration, and on-going monitoring services for under $1,000 (including filing fees!). We believe that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, and then some—especially when your only two options become fighting it out or picking a completely new name.

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