Protecting your recipe with trade secret law



Alex Wellerstein, “SECRET” stamp, via Flickr Creative Commons CC 2.0

Some breweries take a wide variety of measures to ensure that their recipes do not fall into the competition’s hands.  These measures can serve as more than a tool to prevent emulation by the competition.  They can document the recipe as intellectual property, which can provide additional protections if the recipe does somehow land in the competition’s hands.  This article will describe the requirements for a recipe to be a trade secret, effective tools to meeting the requirements, and the potential benefit of holding a trade secret. Continue reading

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Starting a Craft Brewery- The Regulatory Process- Part 3


Brewery Tour, photo by Dustin Askins via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1 of this series discussed state licensing for establishing a brewery.  Part 2 discussed municipal and county regulations for a new brewery.  Part 3 will discuss the process to receive a federal permit, labeling requirements, and brewer’s bonds. Continue reading

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How to Truly Own a Signature Drink – beverage recipe trademarks and patents

Trademark and patent laws can help the inventor of a signature drink control its fate, use the drink to promote their business, or perhaps even allow the inventor to earn some profit from his or her creation.

At first blush, the process to get your signature drink protected by federal trademark or patent law can appear too daunting to be worth pursuing.  With the help of a capable attorney, gaining ownership of a signature drink can become relatively easy. Continue reading

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How old must a server / clerk be to serve / sell alcoholic beverages?


The minimum age required to serve alcohol depends upon what type of establishment they are serving in.  If the server is serving in a space which is primarily for serving food, then anyone 18 and up can serve alcohol in that space.  If, however, the space is primarily for serving alcohol, then any servers of alcohol must be 21 or over.  If alcohol is only being sold to be consumed off-site, then a person under the age of 18 must be supervised by someone 21 or older to legally conduct the sale.  Anyone 18 or older may sell alcohol which is to be consumed off-site without supervision. Continue reading

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This Quick Primer On Employment Law May Save Your . . .

California employment laws are some of the most complicated and technical in the nation.  They are also some of the easiest for disgrunted employees to recover sizeable monetary sums, far exceeding any amount of unpaid wages, for minor and inadvertent offenses. This primer is not intended to be all inclusive.  In fact, its very abbreviated and meant for the busy startup entrepeneur or small business owner. Continue reading

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Who protests applications for alcoholic beverage licenses?

Applications for alcoholic beverage manufacturing or sale local permits and state licenses generally require public notice, which in turn, often results in the application being protested.  All types of licenses can generate protests.  I’ve had protests on convenience stores, restaurants, pubs, breweries, and hotels, to name a sampling.  the following are some of the types of protestants I typically encounter:  Continue reading

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Tasty food at brewery tasting rooms


Food at Craft Breweries

BBQ @ Mission Brewery

Brewery tasting rooms without kitchens have given rise to symbiotic relationships with nearby restaurants and other types of food vendors. This mobile BBQ vendor next to Mission Brewery in downtown San Diego served up some mighty fine BBQ.  Continue reading

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