Brendan focuses on intellectual property matters and commercial litigation. He has extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in patent, trademark, copyright, and trade dress infringement actions. He also prosecutes trademark and copyright applications in the United States and globally for a wide range of clients and industries. Brendan is also an experienced commercial litigator, having represented clients in numerous litigations, including those relating to breach of contract, covenants not to compete, and negligence.
A major focus of Brendan’s practice is representing and counseling breweries, wineries, and distilleries with regard to everything from corporate formation and licensing to M&A and distribution contracts. He is an award-winning homebrewer and one happy client even named a beer after him. Brendan has been quoted in various publications about legal issues facing the alcoholic beverage industry including the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. He is regular guest on industry podcasts such as BrewBound and Good Beer Hunting.
Brendan is also heavily involved in the burgeoning cannabis industry in New York and is a key member of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Team. He helps MSOs and local operators navigate the complex and rapidly changing regulatory scheme in New York.
Prior to joining Harris Beach, Brendan completed a federal judicial clerkship for District Court Judge Joan M. Azrack in the Eastern District of New York and was a litigation associate in the Manhattan office of Proskauer Rose LLP.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS + SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- Guest lecturer at Hofstra Law School on “Practice Ready Research Skills,”
- “MillerCoors Responds to Stone Brewing’s Lawsuit: This Is War,” quoted in VinePair about the trademark dispute between MillerCoors and Stone Brewing.
- “MillerCoors/Keystones’ 82-page Counterclaim against Stone Brewing’s Lawsuit Gets Beautifully Summarized in Tweets,” quoted extensively in Craft Brewing Business on the trademark dispute between MillerCoors and Stone Brewing.
- “MillerCoors Responds, Calls Stone Brewing Trademark Suit ‘Meritless’,” quotes in Brewbound about the trademark dispute between MillerCoors and Stone Brewing.
- “Like a Complete Unknown, Like a Can of Stone,” quoted in IPPROtheinternet.com about the trademark dispute between MillerCoors and Stone Brewing.
- “Distribution Contracts for Breweries in New York,” Article for the New York State Brewers Association on issues to be mindful of before signing a contract with a distributor.
- “Grants, Awards, Funding, and Low Interest Loans for NY Breweries,” Article for the New York State Brewers Association on multiple funding sources for craft brewers via the local Regional Economic Development Council.
- “Shipyard files trademark lawsuit against Missouri brewery over ‘Shiphead’ beer,” quoted in the Portland Press Herald about an atypical trademark dispute between two breweries.
- “Farm Brewery versus Microbrewery License in New York,” Article for the New York State Brewers Association on licensing options for craft brewers.
- “Another Upstate NY Brewery Faces a Trademark Challenge, This Time From a Big Winemaker,” quoted in article about trademark dispute between craft brewery and major wine producer.
- “Beer Battles: A Summer Full Of Craft Brew Trademark Fights”, quoted in article in Law 360 about the spike in new trademark disputes between craft brewers.
- “In the Moosehead vs Moos Wizz trademark case, Moosehead Wins”, quoted in article by the Syracuse Post Standard about a trademark infringement case.
- “Haymarket files trademark opposition against Brooklyn Brewery over beer name”, referenced by The Chicago Tribune as an attorney specializing in the craft beer industry, and credited with first reporting the intellectual property trademark filing between Chicago’s Haymarket Brewing, which brews The Defender, and Brooklyn Brewery’s bid to trademark the name “ Brooklyn Defender Ale.”
- “Hopportunity Cost: Craft Brewers Brawl Over Catchy Names as Puns Run Dry,” quoted in article by The Wall Street Journal about brewers locking in hop puns, animal combinations and witty phrases for labels, giving work to beer attorneys to fight over brand names.
- “Legal To Do List for Starting a Brewery in New York”: Article for the New York State Brewers Association with a checklist for starting a brewery, including TTB and SLA licensing, LLC formation and trademarks.
- “The Importance of Trademark Registration for Breweries”: Article for the New York State Brewers Association about why breweries need federal trademark protection.
- What To Do If Your Brewery Receives a Trademark Cease and Desist Letter”: Article for the New York State Brewers Association about how breweries should respond to cease and desist letters.
- Frequent guest on “Beer Sessions Radio” to talk beer trademark and other legal issues.
- Former guest lecturer at Cornell Cooperative Extension Finger Lakes Craft Brewery Conference.
- Quoted in various publications regarding beer trademark disputes including: “Beer lovers torpedo Lagunitas lawsuit against Sierra Nevada” in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Legal Experts Weigh In on Craft Trademark Disputes in 2015” in Brewbound, “Battle of the Moose Begins” in the Post Star, “Red Bull Files Opposition with Virginia Craft Brewery” in Beer Street Journal, “Two small Central New York brewers find their names spell trouble” in the Syracuse Post Standard, "Judge dismisses part of Shipyard lawsuit against Missouri brewer" in the Portland Press Herald, and more.