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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt has experience providing clients with guidance in various matters relevant to the Distilled Spirits industry, including federal and state brand labeling issues, shipping permits, storage permits, transport permits, land use, labor and employment issues, and other relevant operational concerns.
Labeling and Trademark Protection
Nothing is more important to a manufacturer of distilled spirits than its brand and label. Before a domestic manufacturer even begins the bottling process, a product requires label approval and in some cases formula approval from the federal government. Our attorneys can provide guidance on specific language requirements for federal label approval as well as advise clients on the formula approval process which often requires lab analysis and sample submissions. Our attorneys also help clients on the selection and protection of their brands, labels, logos, service marks, slogans and trade dress. We are experienced in preparing and filing federal certificates of label approval as well as formula approval applications with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Once your label and brand have been registered, our trademark attorneys assist our clients with enforcement, trademark oppositions and cancellations, trademark licenses and other agreements.
Importers and Wholesalers of Distilled Spirits
Our firm has experience providing assistance to wholesalers with the importation of alcoholic beverages, a process which requires a variety of submissions with the TTB. We also represent distributors operating on a regional and local level. We can assist wholesalers in acquiring wholesale alcoholic beverage licensing on both the federal and state levels and provide alcoholic beverage compliance guidance on franchise law issues and trade practice matters.
Retailers of Distilled Spirits
We have extensive experience representing both on-premise and off-premise vendors with their legal needs. Our attorneys can help your business obtain new state and local retail alcoholic beverage licenses in Oregon and Washington. We provide guidance to retailers on compliance matters including franchise law issues and trade practice issues such as marketing and other areas pertaining to federal antitrust laws. We also have experience helping our clients negotiate and draft contracts with third parties who distill and store products according to our clients' instruction.
In many cases, our clients are seeking to start up a new business, whether it is a wholesale distributor, a package store, or a retail restaurant operation. Such ventures often involve the purchase, acquisition, or development of real property including securing land use permits. Our firm can also help clients enter into commercial leases, assisting them in drafting and negotiating leases that fit their specific needs, and weighing the economics and risks associated with different lease options.
Labor and Employment Issues
Schwabe has extensive experience advising employers with respect to labor and employment issues in the Distilled Spirit industry. We routinely draft employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, non-disclosure agreements, severance agreements and employee policy manuals for our clients. Our labor and employment lawyers can help guide your employment decisions on difficult issues that involve all aspects of the state and federal leave laws, wage and hour laws, and disability and workers' compensation laws. We can step in quickly to provide guidance and representation if a client is faced with an administrative charge or lawsuit involving employment issues.