The provision that may have the greatest impact also addresses the relationship between revenues and the comparison of benefits received from inspection services. Current trademark laws allow registered feed operations to pay formula-based inspection fees. A quarterly NBC audit is conducted for the feeding process. This system was established recognizing that once cattle are confined to a feeding situation, there are very few opportunities for animals to get lost, as well as few opportunities to find stray animals. The NBC has already recognized that this is something that brings little benefit to the feeding operation. This provision does not change the audits, but would change the cost of feeding operations based on the cost of the audit. Another provision was to allow one of the five members of the manufacturer`s brand committee to remain outside the inspection area. It is simply the correction of an injustice that has existed since the introduction of state law in 1941. We heard from producers who own property in the inspection area but do not reside there. Why should there not be a representative from outside the inspection area, when they too must comply with the law? NC held 16 public meetings across the state last year and many more, including radio spots, to get feedback on trademark laws in general and trademark inspections in particular. Comments were recorded at all meetings.

The cumulative results show that there was no clear consensus at the national level, but there were trends. In most cases, this type of slip-up can be a slap on the wrist or a harsh conversation, but here`s the incentive – especially for the young budding breeder; Breaking the law could cost you your pride and reputation. These costs can also be easily avoided. If 85 cents per capita breaks you, your surgery is likely to have bigger problems. As of November 1, 2021, cattle producers in the Nebraska Trademark Inspection Area can expect to be exempt from fines of up to $200 per capita if they decide to sell livestock or move cattle through brand inspection lines without first having those cattle tested for stamps. 

The new dispensable citations are one of the final steps in LB 572, which the Nebraska Brand Committee has been mandated by lawmakers to implement in 2021. The bill, passed by the unicameral system in the spring 2021 sitting, includes a number of revisions to the trademark fee structure and gives powers that give „teeth“ to committee investigators when it comes to enforcing existing trademark laws and resolving disputes over proof of ownership. Then, on May 18, Stinner introduced AM 1213, which reportedly dissolved the Nebraska Brand Committee on June 30, 2023. Stinner also ran an 11-hour campaign on May 19 to return LB 572 to Select File. His motion was defeated by a vote of 16 to 17, with 13 senators present not voting and three senators being excused, and AM 1213 was not even considered. Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be polite. If you don`t follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

In previous years, trademark investigators had to file misdemeanor charges with the district attorney in cases of trademark infringement. It was then up to the district prosecutor to prosecute or dismiss the case. With most prosecutors inundated with drug trafficking and other criminal cases, few were willing to prosecute minor trademark infringements. Your landlord is trying to sell open heifers where your brand and the owner`s mark are applied to the skin. The brand committee has no record of a change in ownership, and neither you nor your owner have the inspection documents necessary to definitively prove who exactly has title and ownership of these heifers. Prior to LB 572`s death, trademark investigators generally had to refer trademark infringement to the district attorney in the county where the infringement occurred. However, some district prosecutors did not investigate and lay charges because they had an abundance of larger criminal cases on their waybills. Imagine for a moment that you are a Nebraska brand inspector. They were called to a local ranch to inspect 150 cattle that were to be disposed of in a feedlot east of the inspection area. The breeder who requested the inspection asked you to be there at 8 a.m.

sharp on a Saturday to check the stamps so that any stray animals you identified could be sorted and discarded before the trucks were loaded. 

Realistically, the summer was long and dry, and the rancher`s neighbors weren`t exactly the most diligent when it came to checking their fences. Neighbors may or may not have crawled through the wire and now mingle with the rancher`s oxen. We all know that happens; He produced the age-old expression: „Trust your neighbor, but mark your cattle.“ Even in this hypothetical situation, the Trademark Inspector agreed to appear punctually at 8 a.m. But let`s say your farmer hired the „practical helper“ who collected and locked up the 150 oxen at 7 a.m. The rancher has truckers who are nervous and eager to be loaded and on the road east. Then the breeder gives in to the pressure. He takes the risk.

The farmer agrees to load the trucks and sends them. If the man of the brand shows up and insults him for not being patient and waiting for an inspection, what`s the worst thing that`s going to happen? Before dispensable citations, the breeder may be willing to take this risk. He may know that his local district attorney`s office is so inundated with methamphetamine criminal cases that they won`t bother to prosecute him and prosecute him for obscure trademark infringements. Casual trademark inspectors who observe violations can refer those violations to the Area trademark investigator, giving the investigator the opportunity to contact a manufacturer and do their research before issuing a quote. At this point, the use of EIDs in Nebraska remains voluntary, but the trademark remains the only prima facie evidence of ownership. The intention of the legislator behind the increase in fee caps is to allow the brand`s board of directors to adjust to inflation without having to go through the legislative process. The reduction in per capita inspection fees is intended to gradually reduce the nearly $3 million surplus in the Brand Committee`s cash reserve. It was with great interest that I read Clint Andersen`s op-ed in the Sheridan County Journal Star (reproduced on page B3 of the December 24, 2011 issue of Tri-State Livestock News). As chairman of the Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) Trademark and Property Committee and as a member of the working group that worked for two years to develop these concepts, I am very sensitive to the concerns raised by this great state.