Dickenson, Peatman and Fogarty Adds Five Experienced Attorneys

We are happy to announce that we have added five new attorneys to our alcohol beverage, land use, intellectual property, business, and trust and estates departments over the past six months. The addition of these experienced attorneys will help us continue to serve our clients in the wine industry. For more information, please see the […]

Food Facilities Registration for Alternating Proprietors and Mobile Bottling Units

In October, we published a blog post regarding the 2002 Bioterrorism Act which required “food facilities” to register with the FDA. Given some of the uncertainties regarding what constitutes a “food facility,” a follow up post seemed appropriate.In 2002, Congress passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act (often referred to simply […]

Is a COLA necessary to Establish Lawful Use of a Wine Trademark?

In the United States, trademark rights may be established through the lawful use of a mark in association with goods in commerce.  When one is selling a product that is not subject to government regulation, such as t-shirts, it is fairly simple to make lawful use of a mark in commerce; you label the t-shirt […]

Ethics Legal Education Opportunity from the Cal Bar, November 9th in Yountville

The State Bar of California Agribusiness Committee Of the Business Law Section in conjunction with: LaRiviere, Grubman & Payne, LLP and Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty proudly presents the 2012 Winery & Vineyard Tour   Hotel Bardessono 6526 Yount Street   Yountville, California FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9th 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Featuring: GOT ETHICS?: The Perils of […]

Wineries and Vineyards Need Not be Frightened by Bioterrorism Act Rules and Requirements

Is your winery or tasting room registered under the Bioterrorism Act?  If so, did you know that this year you are required to renew your registration?  If not, are you sure you’re not required to register?  Despite its sinister-sounding name, the Bioterrorism Act is nothing to fear.  Let’s review some of the basics: 1.         What […]

Insight into TTB’s Approach to AVAs: The Inwood Valley AVA

Since the establishment of the Augusta AVA in 1980, ATF, and now TTB, has varied its approach to executing its legislatively delegated task of establishing American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).  In early 2011, TTB amended the AVA rules entirely.  With the recognition of the Inwood Valley AVA, effective as of October 15, 2012, we gain insight […]

Gov. Brown Makes Wine Sweepstakes and Contests Legal in California

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 778 into law creating two new Business and Professions (B&P) Code Sections (25600.1 and 25600.2) authorizing consumer contests and sweepstakes conducted by authorized California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) licensees. These statutes become effective January 1, 2013.  SB 778 contains significant restrictions, examples of which are described below. […]

Wine Institute Presentation on Protecting Your Brand in China

On July 24, 2012, Wine Institute held its California Wine Export Seminar at The City Club in San Francisco.  The highlight of the Seminar was a special panel presentation on the Chinese wine market featuring Maria Troen from Wine Intelligence, ZJ Tang from Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute, Pete Hou, Wine Institute’s trade representative in China, […]

Employee Commission Agreements Need to be in Writing Soon

It’s tough to think about New Year’s Day on the 4th of July, but January 1, 2013 is a date that nearly all California employers need to focus on.  By that date, and in accordance with California Labor Code §2751, all employee commission plans must be reduced to writing.  This means handshake deals for sales […]

New Legislation to Help California Grapegrowers Collect

To be a winegrape buyer you have to get a processors license from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s market Enforcement Branch (the “MEB”).  When a buyer doesn’t pay for the grapes though, the seller can resort to a lawsuit or the seller can file a complaint with the MEB under the Processors Law. […]

TTB Rule Changes for Documentation Supporting Organic Claims

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently announced changes to the supporting documentation required for claims that alcohol products are “100% Organic,” “Organic” and/or “Made with Organic” ingredients.  Currently, industry members submitting a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) application for alcohol products that include such organic claims must submit: (1) the organic […]

Update on North Coast Frost Protection Rules

In February, we reported that regulations slated to be enforced against grape growers in the Russian River watershed during the frost protection season had been postponed pending court action on a legal dispute over their legitimacy.  We’ve been monitoring that case and wanted to provide readers an update as to status.  Currently, the case is […]

Santa Barbara Conference on Wine Law – April 27, 2012

On Friday, April 27, 2012, Networking Seminars will be offering a day-long conference on current legal and regulatory issues facing the wine industry.  The conference will take place at the Harbor View Inn in Santa Barbara and will address a host of legal issues including negotiating wine grape contracts, employment and labor law issues for vineyards […]

California Supreme Court Issues Major Employment Law Decision

Earlier today California Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Brinker v. Superior Court, clarifying an employer’s obligations with regards to meal and rest break requirements for hourly employees.  This decision affects almost every California employer, and all employers should carefully review their policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance.  Overall, this ruling […]

Changes to the Temporary Guest Worker Program Effective April 23, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a final rule that makes significant changes to the way the H-2B Certification for Temporary Non-Agriculture Work operates. The changes, which affect all employers participating in the program, are summarized as follows:  “Temporary need” is now defined as 9 months (under prior law it was 10 months) and […]

Winery Exchange v. 7-Eleven – $2 million Supplier Dispute

An interesting case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently came to our attention. Winery Exchange (“WX”), a private label wine and beer producer, has sued 7-Eleven Corporation (yes, that 7-Eleven ) alleging it breached a series of Private Label Beer Supplier Agreements to the tune of approximately $2.0 million. […]

Courts Postpone Russian River Frost Protection Rules – For Now

Grape growers in the Russian River watershed were granted at least temporary relief from controversial new frost protection regulations earlier this month.  The regulations, originally due to be enforced starting March 15, were postponed by a Mendocino County judge pending the outcome of a trial on the merits set for March 23.  A similar action was filed […]

Trademark for Alcohol Held Confusingly Similar to Identical Mark for Cigars

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) recently refused registration of the mark MOCAMBO for rum based on a prior registration for the mark MOCAMBO for cigars.  In refusing the registration, the TTAB found that rum and cigars are complementary products in that cigars are enjoyed with a glass […]

Is Your Brand Safe in Asia?

China is the new darling of luxury good exports, including wine.  However, many wineries fail to fully consider the need to protect their trademark in China prior to doing business there.  Not only is counterfeiting a problem in China, but so is trademark squatting where Chinese nationals pre-emptively register foreign company trademarks.  Scott Gerien, the […]

Seminar on How to Collect on Deadbeat Accounts

Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty partner David Balter was featured speaker at the National Business Institute’s seminar “Collections; Seeking and Collecting a Judgment,” which was held on January 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. This seminar will be of special interest to wineries, growers, distributors and retailers, as well as anyone interested in learning the nuts and bolts of […]

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