Guidelines to Register a New Tequila Brand Name
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There has undoubtedly been a boom in the tequila industry in the past decade. Each year, dozens of new tequila brands emerge and compete for visibility. It’s clear that registering a good tequila brand name presents challenges to anyone who is attempting to innovate in such a crowded marketplace. For new tequila brands, leveraging intellectual property has become as important to the success of the spirit as its quality and taste.
First, it’s important to understand why the regulating agency exists. The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) certifies that tequila brands are in compliance with all requirements, “guarantee consumer with product’s authenticity,” and safeguard “Appellation of Origin both in Mexico and abroad.” The CRT helps ensure that the tequila industry remains lawful and tequila developers remain transparent about their operations.
Unfortunately, the CRT registration process can take up to a couple of years, but that’s not necessarily a guarantee. Registering your tequila brand with the CRT might be accomplished in a couple of months if all the requirements are met and there aren’t any issues with the application.
Ramon Gonzalez, the General Director of the CRT, explains that the process of registering a tequila brand’s trademark can happen quickly when the brand has met all of the legal requirements, but tends to take much longer when forms are filled out incorrectly or the applications are poorly executed.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO START A NEW TEQUILA BRAND IN THE US
If you’re looking into how to make your own liquor label, you’ve probably already been considering the legal requirements. If you want to ultimately sell your product in the United States — which is a great idea, as we’ll explore below — there are different legal implications surrounding the import of alcohol.
Trademarking Tequila Brand Names
Another agency to be aware of is the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI.) This agency exists to regulate all patents and trademarks across all industries in Mexico. The organization checks trademark applications for factors like similarity with existing trademarks or slogans, ensuring a brand’s complete originality.
It’s not wise for companies to embark on this process on their own. Tequila brands should be advised by a knowledgeable and seasoned lawyer with expertise in intellectual property matters. This type of legal aid can help make sure the trademark application is well presented, minimizing errors and inconsistencies and shortening the time it takes to get approval.
Potential Pitfalls in the Registration Process
The biggest issues that arise when registering new tequila brand names have to do with the paperwork. This is the factor that can influence how long the process takes, even extending it for years. The paperwork procedures can be executed in person, sent by mail, or submitted by intermediaries, but when deciding how you want to go about it, remember that any blocks in the process could cause headaches if you’re using other parties to assist you.
Some of the more common issues that result in process returns have to do with the country of origin field, a poorly filled out power of attorney section, or a bad classification on the application. Of course, if the brand name could be perceived as controversial, this may also be problematic. Anything that sounds offensive or could tarnish the tequila industry reputation will likely be rejected. The CRT also prioritizes approval for high quality brands that highlight tequila’s rich cultural heritage.
If you’ve covered all your bases in these areas, it’s crucial that you attend to the NOM-006- SCFI-2005 meticulously when filling out your registration paperwork. This official rule of standardization helps ensure that operational and production regulations are met and that bottles are labeled correctly with volume, class, flavor, and contents. Labels may not in any way mislead consumers with false advertising about profile makeup, ingredient purity, origin, or age of the drink.
Other Items to Note When Registering A Tequila Brand Name
During the registration process, you also must sign a joint responsibility agreement. This binding document between producer and distributor of tequila ensures that quality is maintained and the product label is in compliance with all regulations. To achieve brand certification with the CRT, authorized producers must submit a one-time copy of the Trademark Registration Title while non-producing brand owners must submit a one-time application.
If you’re considering creating your own agave spirit and are looking for a partner to help you register your tequila brand name, reach out to Aceves Spirits. We help you every step of the way, including throughout the brand registration process.