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Fire Cider Trademark Battle Ends With Name Declared Generic

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Jason Houston
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Rosemary Gladstar

In October, a legal battle involving a Berkshire County company over a traditional remedy was resolved in federal court. Pittsfield-based company Shire City Herbals filed a trademark for the name “fire cider,” a title given to a recipe for a pungent mixture of herbs and apple cider vinegar, in 2012. The move prompted dismay in the herbalist community, and moves to preserve what some called a generic title from a single entity’s possession. After a flurry of lawsuits, a decision by Judge Mark G. Mastroianni released last month determined that “fire cider” cannot be trademarked. Author and herbalist Rosemary Gladstar was involved in the case, and explained to WAMC exactly what was at stake in the case and who was involved.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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