Can You Trademark a Drink?
Yes, you can trademark a drink – though possibly not in the way you have in mind.
Although you cannot trademark the drink itself, you can trademark the name, logo or slogan that you use to brand the drink. A trademark can cover the brand name, logo, and slogan that you use to distinguish your drink from similar products in the market. Trademarks are a way for businesses to protect the way that they portray their products and services in a competitive market.
They will not, however, protect the recipe of the drink.
A Well Known Example: The Dark ‘n Stormy
Perhaps the most well known cocktail to have its name trademarked is the Dark ‘n Stormy. Anyone can make a drink that consists of a mixture of rum and ginger beer. However – if you add it to the menu of your bar and call it a “Dark ‘N Stormy” without using Gosling’s Black Seal rum rum and ginger beer, you may just find yourself being added to the list of folks who have found themselves in litigation with Gosling.
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The name “Dark ‘N Stormy” is one of a handful of drinks that have had their names successfully trademarked.
Protecting Your Drink
If you wish to create and trademark a brand name for a beverage or drink, you should ensure that the name can be used to identify your specific product. For example, a trademark application for “SODA” would be rejected as “SODA” is a generic term that refers to a broad range of products. In contrast, “COCA COLA” is a registered trademark. Your product name should be distinct and original, as applications for duplicate and similar trademarks will be rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
If you wish to have a trademark search conducted to verify that your proposed drink name is distinct enough to be accepted, you should contact us today; we would be glad to assist with your trademark search and application.