The inverted bottle, symbolic of craft breweries turning the beer industry upside down, is meant to "give beer lovers an easy way to identify true small and independent craft brewers, something they have indicated is important to them."
This mark is available to use free of charge to any brewery that meets three criteria:
by Brian D. Kaider (KaiderLaw) and Gregory Parnas (DC BeverageLaw)
With the many acquisitions of craft breweries by Anheuser-Busch InBev and other large conglomerates, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine which bottles on the shelves are truly "craft" in the sense of being small, independently owned brewers of high-quality beer.
Today, the Brewers Association announced the availability of a new seal to identify "Certified Independent Craft" beer.
The Brewers Association claims, and we have independently verified, that use of this new seal will not require a revised Certificate of Label Approval from the TTB, so long as the seal is the only substantive change.
The Brewers Association is correctly using the "TM" symbol next to their mark and presumably will file for registration of the seal as a "collective mark," which will further enhance its ability to limit its use to only members of the BA (i.e., independent craft brewers). As of this writing, no application appears on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, but applications take some time to upload into the USPTO database.
As craft beverage attorneys, we strongly encourage all independent craft brewers to license and use this free symbol to distinguish their fine products from those of "faux craft."
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