Black Irish rebrands after Mariah Carey spatBy Alice Brooker
Irish whiskey producer Black Irish has agreed to rebrand and sell its name to singer Mariah Carey’s cream liqueur brand following a two-year legal battle.
In June 2020, Darker Still Spirits launched a whiskey-and-stout spirit drink called Black Irish. The company said it legally filed the brand name in 2015.
In August 2021, All I Want for Christmas is You singer Carey debuted a range of cream liqueurs called Black Irish. The line was named after her heritage, according to Carey, as her maternal family has Irish roots and her paternal family is Black and Venezuelan.
Later in August 2021, Carey’s legal team objected to Darker Still Spirits’ use of the registered name, as the trademark conflict meant the singer could not sell her cream liqueur of the same name in the European Union (EU) and UK.
Carey requested the company forfeit the trademark.
The two-year-plus legal battle has resulted in Darker Still Spirits agreeing to sell its Black Irish name. Its whiskey-and-stout drink has been renamed ‘Born Irish’ following the sale.
Richard Ryan, co-creator of Born Irish, and co-founder of distribution partner, Kirker Greer Spirits, said: “We are delighted to have resolved this trademark issue with Mariah’s team so that we are both able to sell our respective brands in our desired territories.
“Our brand name may have changed but Born Irish still contains the same innovative recipe: Irish whiskey aged in Bourbon and stout casks, made dark with infusions of chocolate malt, roasted barley and vanilla.
“On a personal note we also wish Mariah and her team the best of fortunes with their cream liqueur brand.
“We look forward to working with our retail partners and distributors globally to ensure the continued success of Born Irish. We are also excited to bring this brand to the American market, where we believe it will be a challenger in the Irish whiskey category.”
Darker Still Spirits’ rebranding to Born Irish in the Americas and Europe will come into effect at the start of summer 2023. A full global roll out is planned before the end of the year.
In more trademark battle news, Marks and Spencer (M&S) recently won a legal battle against supermarket Aldi over a gin liqueur range containing gold flakes.