Using Brewery and Beer Names, in Book of Favorite Beers

I'm finalizing a book which include 50 of my my favorite beers, and 10 breweries I've visited. Can I use the company's name, and put each beer on a page of it's own, using correct legal name of company, name of beer, the ABV, and then my blurb on each beer. No brewery will be mentioned on the cover, and I don't say anything bad about any of them. Basically it's a list of beers to try, and why they're good. Can you see any potential concerns with this approach? Thanks.

Comments

  • I Am Not A Lawyer and this is Not Legal Advice.

     

    Of course you can. As long as you don't lie about your experiences, then you are in the right.

     

    Note that (in the US and Canada at least) there is no legal method to avoid getting sued by someone who thinks you aren't in the right. Everyone has the right to bring suit against you (barring extraordinary circumstances) to make you prove that you are in the right.

  • I appreciate the feedback!

  • More or less all they can copyright are logos, and other registered designs, their name as a unique shape for example, or any word they have made up. They can of course copyright blurb as well, but you are allowed to use short parts of it.

     

    But as said. Those who can afford lawyers can take out a private case against anyone they feel like doing.

  • There has been a lot of confusion lately regarding trademarks and copyrights. The bottom line is that they are two entirely different things.

     

    Trademarks, names, logos and even slogans are not subject to copyright. These things have to be trademarked (in the US, copyrights are registered with the Library of Congress, trademarks with the Patent Office). In fact, this is the USCO's own explanation of the difference: "Copyright protects original works of authorship... A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others."

     

    There are entirely different rules regarding the use of trademarks as opposed to copyrighted material. There are no restrictions to refering to a product by name so long as you are not using it improperly. For instance, you can talk all you like about Coca-Cola, but you cannot put the name "Coca-Cola" on your own brand of soft drink. You can even quote Coca-Cola's slogan so long as you are not appropriating it for your own use.

  • It's all really just different forms of copyright, if not in a legal sense.

     

     


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    It's all really just different forms of copyright, if not in a legal sense.

     

     


    If you interpret copyright in the broadest possible way, I suppose, but the intent and function of trademarks are very different from that of copyrights. It's why they are handled differently, administered by different agencies and are enforced by different laws.

  • Indeed, but if you split the word copyright up,   copy right, which just means the right to copy. It's all under the mother heading of

    Intellectual Property Rights.

     

    http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/pdfs/designs.pdf

     

    Some infringements are a bit more clear-cut, like £5 Rolexs. Others are not, such as some one partly plagiarizing (not copying) a book.

     


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Indeed, but if you split the word copyright up,   copy right, which just means the right to copy. It's all under the mother heading of

    Intellectual Property Rights.

     

    http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/pdfs/designs.pdf

     

    Some infringements are a bit more clear-cut, like £5 Rolexs. Others are not, such as some one partly plagiarizing (not copying) a book.

     


    Yes, copyrights and trademarks are both examples of intellectual property, but they should not be confused with one another. In much the same way that tigers and hamsters are both mammals. As I pointed out, copyrights and trademarks serve two very different purposes and are administered under very different sets of rules and laws. They are not interchangeable. People would worry less about mentioning McDonald's and Budweiser in their books if they realized this.

     

    I'm not sure how plagiarizing a book, partly or in whole, would not be an infringement since plagiarization, by definition, would suggest that material is being copied verbatim. 

  • Speaking back to the original problem:

     

    Suppose that one were to write: "I love Budweiser Beer!"

     

    Well, now, as Ron pointed out, you can't copyright a trademark, so using the name is okay. Is it defamatory? Well, no, not unless you're so grossly unpopular that linking your name to Budweiser would hurt sales ("Josef Stalin says, 'I love Budweiser!' ").

     

    So why would Budweiser object to the usage?

     

    Now, there might be a Jacuzzi issue: For a while, people called all hot tubs "jacuzzis." The company, Jacuzzi, sued under trademark law that the name Jacuzzi was being applied incorrectly. They won, and you now have to distinguish a Jacuzzi brand hot tub from a hot tub made by someone else. Some brands have lost their trademarks because they did not defend this sort of infringement.

     

    So if you were using the term "Budweiser" to mean "Any form of beer or alcoholic beverage" then Budweiser would have grounds to object under trademark law. But you're not doing that.

     

    In my opinion, with me not being a lawyer and not giving you advice here, is that you're fine as frog's hair.

  • Speaking back to the original problem:

     

    Suppose that one were to write: "I love Budweiser Beer!"

     

    Well, now, as Ron pointed out, you can't copyright a trademark,

     

    In a way you can, by registering it. I have no idea what it's like in the USA, but all such things in the UK are governed by >>   https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office

     

    so using the name is okay. Is it defamatory?

     

    The name is not the same as a trademark. A name is just a name, but a registered trademark is a shape designed to be unique, as per

     

    Coca-Cola_0.jpg

    Commonly known as a Brand. One can type the name coca cola because it's not made up, but no one can stick it on a bottle and pretend they are coca cola, they can without any doubt at all not use RDs as per the above.

     

    Well, no, not unless you're so grossly unpopular that linking your name to Budweiser would hurt sales ("Josef Stalin says, 'I love Budweiser!' ").

     

    Hrm, I get your point there, but I doubt that would harm them any more than it did Disney when it was disclosed that Walt Disney liked Hitler.

     

    So why would Budweiser object to the usage?

     

    It would be a different matter if Bud was accused of making it from liquidised kittens.

     

    Now, there might be a Jacuzzi issue: For a while, people called all hot tubs "jacuzzis."

     

    People still do, although in the UK hot tubes are not bought the often. Bubblebaths are though. 'Spars'.

     

    The company, Jacuzzi, sued under trademark law that the name Jacuzzi was being applied incorrectly.

     

    Oddly enough I once worked for a company designing baths (or tubs as they are called in the USA (we call them baths because people take a bath in them)) for them. They were very expensive baths made to order and for those who could afford it, genuine Jacuzzi kits ( much more costly than just the water pumping types) were fitted to them (the baths, not the people). Real Jacuzzis mix air bubbles in to the water, while others just pump the water around through the jets. Few customers knew that unless it was pointed out to them.

     

    They won, and you now have to distinguish a Jacuzzi brand hot tub from a hot tub made by someone else. Some brands have lost their trademarks because they did not defend this sort of infringement.

     

    Indeed, there were many who thought it was just a generic term, like a Hoover, or Google. It always surprises me that Americans always call an object by the name of who first made one, rather that what it is regardless of who made it. Then  again I call my Dyson a hoover.

     

    So if you were using the term "Budweiser" to mean "Any form of beer or alcoholic beverage" then Budweiser would have grounds to object under trademark law. But you're not doing that.

     

    Exactly, and some other manufactures would also object to being called Budweiser.  Smiley Happy

     

    In my opinion, with me not being a lawyer and not giving you advice here, is that you're fine as frog's hair.

     

    Well, as I always say, if in doubt, don't do it.

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