In the most recent issue of American Brewer Magazine, I mentioned that the fact that a mark is used and registered for wine or distilled spirits does not necessarily bang a death knell for a craft brewer’s ability to use a similar or identical mark. I’ve recently discussed geographically descriptive trademarks and refusals of beer marks based on a likelihood of confusion with clothing items. This will discuss why a similar, or even identical, mark registered for wine or distilled spirits should not (and does not) mean a mark for beer and/or brewery services cannot register and acquire nationwide trademark rights.
The USPTO will generally issue a refusal that compares the marks (how they look, sound, etc.) and then compares the similarity of the goods. The goods comparison generally goes as follows:
The X-Search database evidence that […]