Journal of Intellectual Property Law


Alcohol isn't just a mind-altering drink: It has been a prime mover of human culture from the beginning, fueling the development of arts, language, and religion."' Alcohol production and consumption can be traced to civilizations dating back thousands of years all around the world, and it has become so essential to our society that experts have gone on to joke that humans should be called "Homo imbibens." Within the current alcohol industry, two essential qualities that are becoming more common are creativity and variety.

Alcohol has become a defining aspect of human culture and our sense of society. It has grown and formed how we function, and it has been shaped by our constantly changing culture, especially as our culture becomes more sophisticated. Over time, our culture has developed "a passion for the arts and a quest for quality. This is where our deeper need to consume local products comes into play."

Due to our society's need to consume local products and longstanding tradition of alcohol production and consumption, the craft beer industry is rapidly growing. Consumers are constantly searching for creative beers, whether in taste or by name. The new craft breweries popping up are fighting to succeed in a populated market, so they find themselves in competition with one another or with larger breweries to get consumers' attention, particularly for beer names. As a result, the craft beer industry is struggling to come up with creative, original names, leading to a growing amount of trademark litigation. This litigation is expensive and timely, and hurts craft breweries everywhere.