The tradition of toasting is believed to have originated with ancient religious
ceremonies in which blood or wine was offered as a sacrifice to the gods,
often as a prayer for a good harvest, health, etc.
The modern, secular prac-
tice of raising a glass has retained the aspects of a communal tribute, but
nowadays usually focuses on an individual’s milestone or accomplishment.
This brief article is a figurative toast to honor Dr. Arturo Alessandri Besa
for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the field of intellectual
But how did this figurative wine get into our cups? The grapevine was
first brought to Cuba and Mexico by the Spanish conquistadors, and subse-
quently to the Canary Islands, from which vines were transported to Peru,
and, eventually, Chile.2 Wine was produced in Chile as early as 1555, with
exportation beginning in the late 18th Century.3 After French varietals, in-
cluding Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère, were introduced in
the mid-1800’s, Chilean wine production and exportation grew for nearly
Demand for wine in general waned in the late 1900’s as beers and liquors
grew in popularity. A frequent substitute, also derived from grapes, was pisco,
* He holds a B.A. from American University and a J.D. from The George Washington
University School of Law. He is a member of the Advisory Board of “The Trademark Re-
porter” (INTA) and a founding editor of “Trademark World”. He has chaired the American
Bar Association’s Committee 202 on International Trademarks and has been a member of
the Board of Directors of INTA, where previously chaired its International Trademark Com-
mittee. He has also been the Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the
Inter-American Association of Industrial Property (ASIPI). Partner in the New York office
of Ladas & Parry.
** Carnegie Mellon University (B.S.); Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann
University School of Medicine; Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D.). Admitted: New
York State Bar, New Jersey State Bar, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
*** University of Michigan Law School (LL.M.); Universidad Nacional de Asunción (At-
torney at Law and Notary Public). Admitted: New York State Bar, Paraguay.
1 Dwight B. Heath, The International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture, Greenwood Press,
Westport, CT 1995
A TU SALUD!
A PRIMER ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILEAN WINE
AND SPIRITS TRADEMARKS IN THE UNITED STATES
Allan S. Pilson *
Matthew D. Asbell **
Sebastian Lovera R. ***