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If a beer brewery has already trademarked the name barrelhouse, and I own a liquor distribution company, for wine and spirits, that I wanted to trademark as barrelhouse selections would this pass?

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    In what jurisdiction (country) is your business? Ins the brewery in the same country? Same geographic area? – David Siegel Aug 24 at 0:28
  • USA and yes they are in the same country but no where close geographically... The only example I could come up with was Browns Brewing and Brown distributing. They are not affiliated and since the classes registered are different, I figured that made a big difference. – Nathan Aug 24 at 2:45
  • check the register of trademarks what actually is the trademark class the barrelouse is registered for. There are several - Active are atm Beer, Wine, clothes and bars. There had been 6+ for spirits and whiskey. – Trish Aug 25 at 17:14
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Beer and liquor are not entirely unconnected businesses -- both involve alcoholic beverages. On the other hand "barrelhouse" might be considered as a descriptive name. In general descriptive names get less protection. This is a grey area, and you would be wise to get legal advice, or pick a different name. Also, is the brewery in the same general geographic area / market area as you?

A key question would be: could a reasonable but somewhat careless customer or potential customer be confused into thinking that there is some affiliation or association between the two businesses? If the answer is yes, trademark infringement is quite likely to be occurring if both marks are used.

Trade mark laws are different in different countries. In some countries all trademarks must be registered. In others, including the US, simple use can confer protection with no registration.

Given that this is ijn the US according to the comment, this is still in a gray area. The other mark being registered makes it stronger, but being descriptive makes it weaker. The geographical distance will help, but if the market areas are the same or have significant overlap, so that some of the same people will be likely potential customers foe both businesses, that will hurt the new business's case, and make it more likely to be held an infringer.

I would still suggest consulting a trademark lawyer on the specific issue.

  • USA and yes they are in the same country but no where close geographically... The only example I could come up with was Browns Brewing and Brown distributing. They are not affiliated and since the classes registered are different, I figured that made a big difference. That was the key for me, they are registered under a completely different IC than what I would register and are a producer of goods, while I am a distributor and do not produce any products. Thank you for the reply. – Nathan Aug 24 at 2:48
  • @Nathan Answer above edited in response to your comment. – David Siegel Aug 24 at 14:46
  • I suggest to link to the USPTO with the results for what Barrelhouse is currently and has been used. – Trish Aug 25 at 17:18

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