Jägermeister faces lawsuit from outdoor wear brand
Outdoor apparel brand Kühl has taken legal action against Jägermeister, accusing the German spirit brand of trademark infringement in its US advertising campaign.
Kühl filed the lawsuit against Jägermeister with US District Court for the District of Utah Central Division, alleging trademark infringement and dilution.
The outdoor wear manufacturer has claimed that Jägermeister’s ad campaign, initiated by creative agency Opperman Weiss, “prominently features” the Kühl trademark. The campaign includes slogans such as ‘Find a kühl spot’ and ‘Drink it ice kühl’. The German word kühl is translated as ‘cool’ in English.
“Using the trademarked name Kühl to promote Jägermeister tarnishes our brand and is a clear infringement of our trademark rights,” commented Kevin Boyle, the founder and president of Kühl.
“When I received a screenshot from a magazine publisher asking if Kühl did a collaboration with Jägermeister I knew this has created confusion and dilution in the marketplace. The Kühl trademark is unique and distinctive in its appearance, and also, because it has more than one meaning.
“In German the word ‘kühl’ is used in reference to temperature. It’s not used in reference to ‘smooth,’ ‘laid back,’ ‘hip’ or ‘in style.’ We have to protect our customers from the confusion and dilution caused by the Jägermeister campaign.”
Kühl is the second largest privately held apparel brand in the outdoor industry and registers more than US$200 million in retail sales in the US annually.
A spokesperson for Jägermeister said the group is currently “analysing the facts and circumstances” around the filing, and has not managed to get in direct contact with Kühl.
Earlier this year, Jägermeister revealed a new brand identity and campaign inspired by the “notion of perfection”, marking the first major rebrand in its 80-year history.
The group acquired its long-time US distributor, the Sidney Frank Importing Company, in 2015.