Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Intellectual Property Lawyers | McDermott

Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Intellectual Property


From product development to marketplace delivery, the associated intellectual property involved in a product’s lifecycle is the differentiating competitive element companies active in food, beverage and agribusiness (FBA) must guard and cultivate. To do so requires a law firm steeped in the legal nuances specific to the market, with the ability to identify potential issues before they arise, and to respond swiftly when necessary.

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  • Mars, in multiple matters, including:
    • The successful settlement of a trademark infringement suit. Mars Inc. v. the Hershey Co. et al., Civil Action No. 1-14-cv-00399 (Eastern District of Virginia).
    • A patent case involving the processing of cocoa beans to extract flavanols (heart-healthy chemicals) which were then used as ingredients in Mars’ products such as Dove Dark Chocolate.
  • The Pernod Ricard Companies, including Absolut, Chivas, Ballantine, Kahlua, Malibu, Martell, Mumm, Perrier-Jouët and other top brands, in a full complement of trademark, copyright, advertising, counseling, patent and litigation matters, including:
    • In US district court trademark infringement and dilution cases in New York, California, Illinois and other jurisdictions.
    • In UK high court litigation against TIML Radio (a division of the Times of India), in relation to the rebranding of Virgin Radio (following its acquisition by TIML) as “Absolute Radio.”
    • Before the Venice Court of Appeal regarding the enforcement of the Absolut Community three-dimensional trademark in the shape of the famous Vodka Absolut bottle. The legal grounds of the defense in the appeal proceedings focused on the protection of Community three-dimensional trademarks such as the shape of the Absolut Vodka bottle and well-known trademarks.
  • Heineken brewing company in the successful defense arising from the painting over of a mural in Los Angeles with a “Newcastle” advertisement. The case involved claims under the Visual Artist Rights Act and the California Artists Protection Act. The case settled favorably with no monetary payment by Heineken. Annie Sperling v. Barry Mason Enterprises Inc. et al., Case No. 2-12-cv-10804 (Central District of California).

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