Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 4.1. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Chapter 5. Beer Franchise Act

§ 4.1-500. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Agreement" means a commercial relationship, not required to be evidenced in writing, of definite or indefinite duration, between a brewery and beer wholesaler pursuant to which the wholesaler has been authorized to distribute one or more of the brewery's brands of beer. The doing or accomplishment of any of the following acts shall constitute prima facie evidence of an agreement within the meaning of this definition:

1. The shipment, preparation for shipment or acceptance of any order by any brewery for any beer to a beer wholesaler within the Commonwealth.

2. The payment by a beer wholesaler and the acceptance of payment by any brewery for the shipment of an order of beer intended for sale in the Commonwealth.

"Beer wholesaler," "wholesaler," "beer distributor," and "distributor" mean any wholesale beer licensee, including any successor-in-interest to such person, within the Commonwealth offering beer for sale or resale to retailers or other beer wholesalers without regard to whether the business of the person is conducted under the terms of an agreement with a licensed brewery.

"Brand" means any word, name, group of letters, symbol or combination thereof adopted and used by a brewery to identify a specific malt beverage product and to distinguish that product from other beers produced or marketed by that brewery or other breweries. The use of general corporate logos or symbols or the use of advertising messages, whether appearing on the product packaging or elsewhere, shall not be considered to be a brand, brand extension, or part thereof as these terms are used in this chapter.

"Brand extension" and "extension of a brand" mean any brand, which incorporates all or a substantial part of the unique features of a preexisting brand of the same brewery and which relies to a significant extent on the goodwill associated with such preexisting brand.

"Brewery" means every person, including any authorized representative of such person pursuant to § 4.1-218 which (i) is licensed as a brewery located within the Commonwealth, (ii) holds a beer importer's license and is not simultaneously licensed as a beer wholesaler, or (iii) manufactures any malt beverage, has title to any malt beverage products excluding licensed Virginia wholesalers and retailers or has the contractual right to distribute under its own brand any malt beverage product whether licensed in the Commonwealth or not, who enters into an agreement with any beer wholesaler licensed to do business in the Commonwealth.

"Dual distributorships" means the existence of agreements between a single brewery and more than one wholesaler in a given territory as the result of a purchase of another brewery.

"Nonsurviving brewery" means any brewery which is purchased by another brewery as provided in § 4.1-504 and, as a result, ceases to exist as an independent legal entity.

"Person" means a natural person, corporation, partnership, trust, agency, or other entity as well as the individual officers, directors or other persons in active control of the activities of each such entity. "Person" also includes heirs, assigns, personal representatives and conservators.

"Purchase" includes, but is not limited to, the sale of stock, sale of assets, merger, lease, transfer or consolidation.

"Surviving brewery" means a brewery which purchases a nonsurviving brewery as provided in § 4.1-504.

"Territory" or "sales territory" means the area of sales responsibility within the Commonwealth expressly or impliedly designated by any agreement between any beer wholesaler and brewery for the brand or brands of any brewer.

1978, c. 579, § 4-118.4; 1985, c. 549; 1987, c. 247; 1991, c. 628; 1993, c. 866; 1997, c. 801.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.