Strike Kerr & Johns advises clients on a wide variety of commercial transactions. We serve as regulatory counsel on winery sales transactions, we assist with distributor appointments and terminations, and we provide counsel on the myriad of different relationships in which alcoholic beverage industry members are involved. We have drafted, reviewed and negotiated all kinds of industry agreements—including production agreements, distribution agreements, import agreements, marketing agreements, grape purchase and custom crush agreements, trademark assignment and licensing agreements, commercial leases, warehouse agreements, etc. Strike Kerr & Johns offer expert counsel on the transactional and relationship agreements that are critical to alcoholic beverage industry members.
The labels on every alcoholic beverage product sold in the U.S. must meet the detailed federal regulatory requirements for label content of either the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or the Food and Drug Administration, or both. Before the labels can be submitted for review, some products also require laboratory analysis or formula approval, depending on the product type and on whether it is domestic or imported. Developing compliant formulations and labels is important to avoid delays in getting the products to market. Strike Kerr & Johns is well versed in the regulations affecting formulation and labeling and can help you avoid errors that delay product launch.
Alcohol is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States. You must have a license if you want to produce, import, distribute, warehouse, sell, or buy alcoholic beverages as part of your business. Whatever your involvement in the alcohol industry, we can help you evaluate the best licensing options for you, and we can help you get the license, or licenses, that you need to run your business legally.
Our team has vast experience in advising on and obtaining liquor licenses for every possible type of beer, wine or spirits business. We can help determine what is best for your unique business if you are unsure of the best option, like deciding between a Type 01 Beer Manufacturer, a Type 23 Small Beer Manufacturer, or a Type 75 Brewpub license. If you’re a small winery trying to understand the privileges and restrictions of operating as an alternating proprietorship or a custom crush client, we can clearly explain the nuances. We have solid relationships with state alcohol regulators around the country, and we can work with you to get, maintain, and update your license, or to buy or sell a licensed business. Strike Kerr & Johns can also help you navigate the three- tier maze, and address any tied-house issues that your organization might face if you hold interests in different tiers of the industry.
Our attorneys regularly represent clients at administrative and protest hearings in front of the TTB, the California ABC, and elsewhere. We can work with you to negotiate with your neighbors and the community and overcome objections and oppositions that could delay or prevent you from operating your business.
We are experts in helping you market, sell or ship alcohol, online and via the latest technologies. We know the rules controlling what types of licensees can ship alcohol to each state, and can help you structure your model to comply with the law. The rules are different for beer, wine and spirits, and also depending on who is the source of the product; producers and retailers have different privileges. Some of our clients elect to have no alcohol licenses at all, instead providing services to licensed parties making alcohol sales. We enjoy the challenge of imagining new models within the framework of existing law. If there is a path forward, we’ll help you find it.
Advertising and marketing alcoholic beverages has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Alcohol companies continue to reach consumers using product ads, sweepstakes, contests, and coupons, but the medium has changed. Messages that were once conveyed by print, television and radio now also reach consumers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and probably a dozen other social media apps invented since we wrote this. Alcohol companies also have many more options for reaching and interacting with consumers at tastings, product launches, non-profit sponsored events and other interactive programs. Strike Kerr & Johns assists in structuring promotional events of all kinds, creating official rules for contests and sweepstakes, obtaining regulatory approvals where needed, and ensuring that our clients’ advertising and marketing activities are legally compliant in all fifty states.
Many of our clients do not employ in-house counsel, and we work with them to help manage all of their legal needs, as they arise. We can help you take your product from the initial development and regulatory approval process, through distribution and sale, and can continue to advise as you grow your business in this highly regulated industry. We talk to some of our clients daily and others only a few times each year. We are available to assist as much or as little as you need us.
Strike Kerr & Johns is a law firm that does nothing but alcohol industry work. We are often brought in by other law firms as special counsel to assist in purchase and sale transactions, or to help their clients with regulatory issues under the liquor laws. If you are a law firm looking for assistance with an alcohol issue for one of your clients, we can help.
All businesses have trademarks and protecting them is vitally important. We work with clients that own a single trademark – their company name – and clients with portfolios of dozens of trademarks. Trademarks can be product brand names, taglines or slogans, graphic designs, etc. Any symbol, word or words that distinguish the goods or services of the trademark owner from those of another party and identify the trademark owner as the source of goods or services is a trademark. Strike Kerr & Johns can efficiently and effectively conduct searches and advise if a proposed trademark is available. We have conducted thousands of trademark searches and successfully registered hundreds of trademarks for our clients. We also represent our clients in trademark oppositions and cancellation matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.