Working with several artisan food and alcohol producers as clients, we frequently notice that using one’s own name (first, last, or both) as a brand name in association with one’s goods is very common in these industries. Recently, a decision was handed down by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that reminds us that, […]
A California court recently held that Four Loko is not protected from liability in a wrongful death lawsuit. Fiorini v. City Brewing Co., LLC, 2014 WL 5743133 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2014). In this case, the parents of a 23-year-old college student sued the beverage company after their son drank two cans of Four Loko and […]
According to its backers, the Berkeley “Sugar Tax” is the future of sugar in America. Berkeley’s Measure “D,” which garnered an overwhelming 75% “yes” vote, imposes a general excise tax of $0.01 per ounce on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages and the sweeteners used to sweeten such drinks: this amounts to a 12 cent tax on a […]
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve spent years building your business, developing a loyal following, and honing your operations into a replicable format. You own two, three or maybe ten different locations, all profitable, and understand your business inside and out. You know the right demographics and cost to jumpstart new locations. You’ve cultivated reliable supply relationships, built a […]
Franchise agreement recitals declaring your franchisee to be an independent contractor, not an employee, are not dispositive! Until now, the spotlight has never shined so brightly on franchising and, specifically, on whether franchisors are responsible for their franchisees’ activities. On July 29, 2014, the NLRB’s General Counsel announced its plan to sue McDonald’s for numerous […]
Join Shelley Spandorf in this Google Hangout for a frank discussion of the NLRB general counsel’s action and its implications, as well as best franchise practices that help avoid these legal pitfalls.
In a move with far-reaching ramifications for all businesses that license their brands to independent contractors including franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced on July 29, 2014 that it has authorized the filing of administrative complaints against franchise giant, McDonald’s USA LLC, for unfair labor practices involving workers at franchisee-owned restaurants. The NLRB […]
On April 25, 2014, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB), the federal agency that regulates and taxes alcohol producers, suspended a March 2014 wine growler ruling that would have unnecessarily required wineries and retailers to register as federal taxpaid wine bottling houses before selling refillable wine containers. For wineries and restaurants looking […]
The restaurant industry just keeps getting hit with new and creative theories of liability under wage and hour law. Here, tipped employees in a tip-credit state claim they should not have to perform “side work” because it cuts into the time they could be spending on tip generating work.
As FDA implements the various sections of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) through rulemaking, the agency continues to convey a pragmatic approach complicated by regulatory reality. With its latest proposal, FDA attempts to design a system for preventing acts of terrorism impacting food production. In FDA’s words, “food facilities would be required to identify […]