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In recent years, the craft brewing industry in western North Carolina has seen a dramatic jump in the growth of new brewery businesses and products. With such prevalent development and competition, brewery business owners should be aware of their trademark rights when it comes to the craft beer industry and their brand. In the September issue of Capital At Play, registered patent attorney William Heedy expands upon the use of trademarks in the craft beer industry and how implementing this process in a timely manner benefits your business.

Trademarks are used to identify a company name, product or service once it is used in commerce. Beginning the trademark registration process in advance of this provides many benefits and protections to the brand, especially when considering nationwide distribution. When starting a brewery business, owners should absolutely consider conducting a trademark clearance search. This will help eliminate any potential conflicts that may arise if the considered trademark is the same or similar to one already in existence. Conducting this step at the outset can save time and money at the beginning phases of a business, rather than risking changing a trade name at varying stages of development. Beyond the brand itself, there are individual trademarks for each brew produced. Due to the volume of brews in the ever-growing craft beer industry, there is often a concern as to the availability of these new trademarks.

Read the full Capital at Play article for more details on trademarks and their place in the craft beer industry.