Vintage Justice

The South African Wine Industry’s Influence on Trademark Law

Charles Webster

©2016. Published in Landslide, Vol. 9, No. 1, September/October 2016, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Many similarities exist between the practice of law and winemaking. Both are steeped in tradition and rely on the application of well-tested and established principles. Both depend on raw materials—the facts and the grapes—in crafting the end product, which it is hoped will stand the test of time. However, the peculiar facts that relate to the wine industry do not necessarily lend themselves to vintage judgments.

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