In 2023 our firm is focused on growing its presence in the food and beverage space. Our managing partner has represented large national brands in this space while at his prior firms, and we want to bring this experience to the small and mid-sized companies who are focused on growth.
Anyone with any experience in the food and beverage industry knows it is simply different. Competition is fierce in this space. Also, companies tend to be more regional or local based on the realities of freshness and spoliation. These differences impact brand protection.
This recent story may explain the importance of brand protection in this industry. Bob and Sally started making preserves in their spare time in 2020. Like many companies, they chose a name that sounded good to them, and registered this name with the Georgia Secretary of State. They started selling their preserves at craft fairs and farmers’ markets. Sales were good. They won a state-wide award. The demand for their product grew. They then got noticed by a food celebrity and were promoted on her social media. This caught the attention of even more people; this brought even more sales (great!) and a demand letter (not great ☹).
The demand letter stated that a larger company owned the rights in the name that Bob and Sally chose. This bigger company insisted that Bob and Sally change their name (ASAP!), stop selling online, transfer the domain name and pay their hard-earned profits to the bigger company.
All the company’s hard work was in jeopardy. Bob and Sally were referred to us and we are helping them through this situation. We pushed back and were able to achieve many concessions from the bigger company, but had to advise Bob and Sally that they needed to change their name.
Bob and Sally are in the process of choosing a new name, and this time they will first get their name searched by us. By using our $250 Brand Health Check, they can move forward with greater certainty that their new name will not lead them to liability, and that they can grow their company.
Do you sell hot sauce at local fairs? Are you getting rave reviews and plan to attend more fairs this year? Make sure your brand can take the heat! Call Initiating Protection, because this is our jam.