Jack Daniel’s sues ‘inferior’ Lonehand Whiskey makerBy Nicola Carruthers
Brown-Forman has taken legal action against the producers of Lonehand Whiskey, accusing the company of causing “irreparable harm” to the Jack Daniel’s trademark.
Brown-Forman has filed a complaint against Dynasty Spirits and Buffalo Bayou Distilleries for infringement of federally registered trademarks and trade dress related to its Jack Daniel’s brand.
Defendant Dynasty Spirits owns the ‘Accused Trade Dress’, in addition to distilling, adverting, and marketing Lonehand Whiskey, while Buffalo Bayou Distilleries is responsible for labelling, packaging and shipping the whiskey.
Jack Daniel’s owns the trade dress for distilled spirits, including whisky for the three-dimensional configuration of a square bottle container for “distilled spirits.”
The company said that it has sold its “iconic” trade dress consisting of a square bottle with angled shoulders, a ribbed neck, a black cap and a black neck wrap closure before the defendant’s launched Lonehand. In addition, Brown-Forman’s label features the phrases ‘Old No. 7’, ‘Jack Daniel’s’, ‘Tennessee’, and ‘sour mash whiskey’.
The Jack Daniel’s maker alleges that Lonehand Whiskey is sold in a bottle with similar features and includes the Lonehand mark in arched lettering, with the words ‘whiskey’ and ‘Tennessee Sour Mash’.
Brown-Forman argued that the defendant “unlawfully marketed” their whiskey to get customers to buy their product instead of Jack Daniel’s by instructing retailers to place the product next to Jack Daniel’s and use promotions that “employ elements” of the Jack Daniel’s trade dress.
Lonehand Whiskey has also received “highly critical customer reviews, indicating that said product is of inferior quality”.
Jack Daniel’s said that the product “has impaired, and will continue to impair, the distinctive quality of the Jack Daniel’s trade dress in the marketplace.”
“Unless restrained and enjoined by this court, defendants will persist in their trademark infringement and unfair competition as aforesaid, thereby causing Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc further irreparable harm,” the company said.
Brown-Forman has requested that the defendants pay injunctive relief, including all legal costs.
Brown-Forman refused to comment on the case when asked by The Spirits Business. Dynasty Spirits and Buffalo Bayou Distilleries have also been approached for further comment.