Wine, Beer & Spirits


Wine, Beer & Spirits

Over the past few years the U.S. has experienced rapid growth in its number of wineries, vineyards, breweries, and distilleries.  Washington State in particular, has been gaining a nationwide reputation for producing some of the finest alcoholic beverages in the country.  Lee & Hayes’ attorneys represent wine and alcoholic beverage clients around the U.S. and are uniquely situated to provide the expertise needed to support the growing alcohol industry in Washington State and beyond.  They understand the needs of growers, producers, retailers, and distributors and can help them get from vine or brewery or distillery, to bottle, to retail shelf.

  • A company’s biggest assets are its brand and proprietary information.  It must establish and protect its brand’s valuable trademark and intellectual property rights.
  • This is a highly regulated industry.  Companies must navigate the maze of the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and state liquor control board laws, regulations, and guidance, as well as solve problems that arise.  Often, an ounce of prevention is wroth a pound of cure.  Companies need policy consultation and lobbying services to help shape the rules that govern the alcohol beverage industry.
  • The industry presents unique business and legal challenges.  From grape purchase agreements and alternating proprietorship agreements, to restrictions on daily spirit sales, companies involved with alcoholic beverages have specialized legal needs.  They need legal counsel that can meet their corporate, transactional, dispute resolution, and litigation needs with in-depth industry experience.

All of these industries have the need for trademark, brand protection, trade secret, copyright, labeling requirements, contract preparation and review, and an understanding of the regulations imposed by state and federal regulators.  The attorneys at Lee & Hayes have the expertise needed to work through the multitude of issues clients may encounter.

Trademark and Brand Protection Services

Lee & Hayes works with clients to protect product names, images, formulas, processes, and designs.  In this day and age, when information is available at your competitor’s fingertips, it is critical to protect company assets.  This includes a company name, logo, or the formula used to create a product.  After spending years perfecting a logo, formula or even processes, these can be stolen in an instant if those assets are left unprotected.  Attorneys provide counsel on:

  • Trademark registration and protection
  • Protecting copyrights for labels, packaging, advertising, and websites
  • Securing patents for technology and design
  • Protecting trade secrets and proprietary information
  • Resolving disputes

Real Estate and Land Use Services

Attorneys help companies meet the growing demand for wine grapes.  They can also help them secure real estate necessary for a winery, brewery, distillery, or tasting room and assist with vineyard development and financing, water rights, and land matters.

  • American Viticultural Area designations and issues
  • Environmental and health regulations-wastewater, pesticides, environmental review, and worker safety
  • Leasing and sale
  • Grape purchase agreements; lien issues
  • Crop insurance issues
  • Resolve disputes

Licensing and Regulatory Services

Attorneys can also help companies start up, get licensed, and facilitate production of alcoholic beverages while staying compliant in highly-regulated marketplaces.

  • Financing for start-ups, expansions, and mergers
  • Licensing
  • American viticultural Area designations and issues
  • Labeling requirements for U.S. TTB, U.S.D.A., and state agencies
  • Grape purchase agreements, alternating proprietorship agreements, and custom crush agreements
  • Distributor agreements and disputes
  • Washington Liquor Control Board and U.S. TTB enforcement defense
  • Trade restrictions (Tied-house laws)
  • Direct export to Asia
  • State and federal lobbying
  • Resolve disputes

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