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Court backs Crystal Head in bottle suit

A federal jury has ruled that the founder of KAH Tequila intentionally infringed Crystal Head Vodka’s trade dress with its skull-shaped bottle design.

The jury delivered a unanimous verdict in favour of Crystal Head

After around four hours of deliberations the jury delivered a unanimous verdict in favour of Crystal Head maker Globefill Inc, Law360 has reported.

They found that defendant Elements Spirits Inc – which founded KAH Tequila in 2009 – and its founder Kimi Brandi had designed the bottle with the objective of confusing consumers into thinking it was made by or affiliated with Crystal Head.

Yesterday, the sculptor who created KAH Tequila’s skull-shaped bottle testified that he was asked to base the design on Crystal Head.

He added that he “wasn’t trying to knock off anyone else’s work” and he had made significant changes to the design.

It now lies with a US District Judge to decide what profits Elements will have to give up and handle the imposition of a permanent injunction.

The case marks the second time Globefill has brought such a suit against KAH Tequila – alleging that Elements’ KAH brand tequila infringed its bottle trademark in March 2010.

Amber Beverage Group, a subsidiary of Stolichnaya vodka producer SPI Group, assumed full ownership of KAH Tequila in December last year.

Dana Hasana, head of communications at Amber Beverage Group, said: “This decision applies only to the US and will not affect our business in the rest of the world.

“Our advisors will be reviewing the ruling in detail, and in the meantime outside of the US we will continue to deliver our award-winning Tequila to our loyal fan base.”

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