In the bustling craft brew transparenteconomy brewers are faced with new issues every day. One that recently came to my attention arises when the craft brewery’s brewmaster or head brewer decides to either start his own craft brewery, or go to work for another brewery. While this may not initially seem like a big deal, it gets much more complicated when that brewmaster or brewer is responsible for the creation of your flagship brew. The question arises: who owns the intellectual property rights to that brew? Of course, the brewery is going to say that they have been selling, distributing, and promoting the brew, so it must be theirs. On the other hand, the brewer is going to say that he created it, so it must be his. The truth is that determining who owns the intellectual property rights to the brew formula can get quite complicated, encompassing numerous factors. But it does not have to be.

With a booming industry such as craft brew, it is imperative that the appropriate precautions be taken to protect the craft brewery’s most lucrative asset: the beer itself. In order to protect a brew formula from being taken from your company and utilized by a competitor when one of your brewers, the creator of the formula or not, leaves the company, the formula must be treated as a trade secret. The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) defines a trade secret as:

information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, or technique, or process, that:
(1) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public, or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
(2) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.


Continue Reading Hey, that’s my beer! I think…

Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace is set to begin on October 1, 2013. While many employers believe the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) were put off a year for them, many provisions still apply now.

By no later than October 1, 2013, most employers must distribute a notice of coverage options to their employees. For new hires after October 1, 2013, the notice of coverage options must be provided to the employee within 14 days of their start date. This notice form should be added to all new hiring packets.


Continue Reading Do You Think The ACA Is Asleep Because The Employer Mandate Was Postponed? Think Again!: Required Employee Notices Soon Due!

The FSMA is the most extensive change to the U.S. food safety system in more than 70 years. Signed into law in 2011, the FSMA directs the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue numerous regulations directed toward enhancing food safety and minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. As with almost every law nowadays, the FSMA contains a whistleblower provision to ostensibly “advance the broad goals” of the new law.

Continue Reading Food and Beverage Companies Beware: New Risks Associated with Whistleblower Protections Under the Food Safety Modernization Act

With Special Guest Speaker, Vincent Catalano from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Inc. 

The Supreme Court has spoken and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) is here to stay. It is now critical that employers of all sizes learn how the PPACA may impact their workplace. Join Weintraub Tobin, and special guest speaker

Nineteen former employees who signed releases after being terminated in a RIF and who did not file EEOC charges may proceed in joining the class bringing ADA claims against their former employer. The plaintiffs alleged the waivers were invalid under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (“OWBPA”) because they misrepresented the number of employees selected