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View Full Version : Red and Proud of it...



smokinjoe
09-12-2009, 18:50
Saw this nugget in the AJC this morning. Superman don't like his cape pulled on. www.ajc.com/business/maker-136632.html

callmeox
09-12-2009, 18:54
Looks like they got rid of the drips after 2007 and have produced drip-free bottles since.

Hasn't their claim to red wax been shot down already?

Jono
09-12-2009, 19:23
From a consumer point of view I cannot see making a Maker Mark purchase identity error with this tequila.

http://images.send.com/103554_big.jpg

IronHead
09-12-2009, 19:39
Anyone who would mistake a tequilla bottle for a bourbon bottle probably doesn't care what they are drinking, anyway.

ILLfarmboy
09-12-2009, 20:28
From a consumer point of view I cannot see making a Maker Mark purchase identity error with this tequila.

http://images.send.com/103554_big.jpg


Ditto.

How can bottle trade dress violations extend across spirit types? I could sort of see it if both bottles were shaped identically, but only sort of. Who's going to grab a bottle of this tequila when what they are really shopping for is a bottle of MM?

DeanSheen
09-12-2009, 21:30
Don't like the Makers. Less after this. Make a better product and stop worrying about the wax.

IronHead
09-12-2009, 21:31
I'd like to try an expression at a higher proof...

silverfish
09-13-2009, 06:07
Why, why they're practically twins!

miller542
09-13-2009, 08:14
Forget about what's in the bottle for a minute, all that matters here is marketing.

Its about the image. We all know that bourbon marketers work hard to create a particular image for their product using just about any means necessary. In the case of Makers, they've spent millions defining their product with the red wax, so much so, that many of their images are solely the red wax, not even a bottle or label along with it. Viewed in that light, it makes sense that they would fight to protect their investment. The marketplace has become so convoluded that brands need to be able to maintain what makes them distinct.

I'm not going to say what they're doing is right or wrong, but no reasonable customer would buy one product instead of the other by mistake. Different product, different shelf, different bottle, different label, etc.

smokinjoe
09-13-2009, 08:46
I agree, Miller. Maker's, like any other company is protecting their brand. And, they'll use any means necessary to do so. McDonald's is another company that carries a big club looking to whack infringers on their property. Like you said Miller, I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but I don't blame them.

Ox brought up an interesting point on Maker's claim to the red wax. I believe they did get it trademarked, but it has been diluted over the years. Maybe, it's only the drips (or as I think they call them, tendrils), now? Can anyone speak as to exactly what Maker's has iron-clad legal claim to?

Rughi
09-13-2009, 09:48
This wax on different spirits bottles makes me think of a much less obvious example.

It makes me think of the 'very different' worlds that Apple Music and Apple Computers lived in 25 years ago. IIRC, they signed an agreement that one would stay out of the music world and one would stay out of the computer world. Made perfect sense back in the mid 80s.

Fast forward 20 years, and computers are more central to distributing music than every form of music conveyance that existed in the early 1980s - and well, Apple computers is now a key world player in distributing recorded music. Resolving the agreement of decades ago I'm sure was a bit sticky.

Compared to that situation that nobody could have anticipated, the worldwide spirits parent company of MM wanting to expand it's use of the sloppy red wax to other spirits is obvious to any reasonable person. Protecting that option for the future requires constant diligence.

I don't like the trademark and intellectual property lawyers at Maker's parent company for doing this (from whatever city or country their offices are located), but they have to look active in front of their bosses, or it might look like their jobs, perhaps, were never really necessary.

As they say in the Godfather films, it's just business...

Roger

MarkEdwards
09-13-2009, 10:38
Anyone who would mistake a tequilla bottle for a bourbon bottle probably doesn't care what they are drinking, anyway.

It's possible that they are worried about consumers who associate the red wax with MM also thinking that MM has expanded into the tequila market...

To me, the darker red wax with the embossed seal on the tequila differentiates from the bright, shiny red wax of the MM, so I really doubt the issue of consumer confusion is a problem. Although, in the words of P.T. Barnum, "You will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

IronHead
09-13-2009, 10:43
It's possible that they are worried about consumers who associate the red wax with MM also thinking that MM has expanded into the tequila market...

To me, the darker red wax with the embossed seal on the tequila differentiates from the bright, shiny red wax of the MM, so I really doubt the issue of consumer confusion is a problem. Although, in the words of P.T. Barnum, "You will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

I can understand the reasonings behind what MM is doing. My statement was more in jest than anything else.

callmeox
09-13-2009, 14:38
Here's another thread here about it.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9367&highlight=makers+mark+tendrils

silverfish
09-15-2009, 07:58
Wonder if MM will be going after these guys as well?...

Rughi
09-15-2009, 08:02
I wouldn't even go near that second photo.
Ewww, gross...

silverfish
09-15-2009, 08:14
I wouldn't even go near that second photo.
Ewww, gross...

FYI, that is a Blair's hot sauce. He's bottled a few,
including a Guinness World Record holder for "...the
hottest chili product commercially available." Many
are described as "...not a sauce or an ingredient" and
sold as "...EXPERIMENTAL/DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY".

So, it'd unlikely you'd wanna swig of that one.

Rughi
09-15-2009, 09:59
FYI, that is a Blair's hot sauce. He's bottled a few,
including a Guinness World Record holder for "...the
hottest chili product commercially available." Many
are described as "...not a sauce or an ingredient" and
sold as "...EXPERIMENTAL/DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY".

So, it'd unlikely you'd wanna swig of that one.

Sounds similar to the capsaicin extract based hot sauces like the gimmick brands Dave's Insanity Sauce and Ass in Tub/Space. (Does anybody really like the flavor of these, or is it just about bragging rights?)

Roger

unclebunk
09-15-2009, 12:15
Sounds similar to the capsaicin extract based hot sauces like the gimmick brands Dave's Insanity Sauce and Ass in Tub/Space. (Does anybody really like the flavor of these, or is it just about bragging rights?)

Roger

I'm guessing it has more to do with bragging rights than anything else, but there will always be a few people out there who will claim to actually like the stuff. At roughly 180,000 Scoville units (compared to Tabasco's approximately 5,000 units), I'd have to think those people who say they enjoy it are pretty much full of sh*t, but to each his own. I've eaten incredibly hot Indian food over the years and yet managed to ruin a barbecue dinner once by putting just a few drops of Dave's Insanity Sauce on some pulled pork. :bigeyes: If you're gonna bring the heat, bring the flavor too!

Rughi
09-15-2009, 14:49
...If you're gonna bring the heat, bring the flavor too!


Amen, Bunky.

I like habanero salsas as much as the next chilehead, especially when there's carrot mixed in for sweetness and body, and I just started my yearly batch of tiny Asian peppers steeped in rice wine vinegar (they look like small Tabasco peppers, not sure what the family at the farmer's market calls them). But I don't get the flavorless, scalding heat of Ass in Space and that ilk.

Maybe Barturtle will weigh in to help us understand his love of capsaicin extract sauces.

Roger

camduncan
09-15-2009, 16:29
Sounds similar to the capsaicin extract based hot sauces like the gimmick brands Dave's Insanity Sauce and Ass in Tub/Space. (Does anybody really like the flavor of these, or is it just about bragging rights?)

Roger

I used to buy Blairs Megadeath sauce regularly..... I've also got a couple of Dave's special reserves (but they are not open.) It was definately just bragging rights for me to eat these sauces because lately, I've come to realise that if you ignore the heat, these sauces don't have a great flavour. Give me a mild sweet chilli sauce packed with flavour over this stuff anytime :cool:

cowdery
09-15-2009, 18:00
I'm quite happy with the wimpiest hot sauce on the market, Frank's Red Hot. I will hit Tabasco and some Hab sauces now and then, and I dust a lot of vegetables with cayenne, but Frank's is my go-to. People who like ultra hot foods are often the same ones who want the over-proof whiskeys and other spirits, and drink them neat. I don't judge.

But since I've entered the thread, let me add my two cents. No one would deny that Maker's trademark is very valuable. The protectable limits of a trademark are only knowable through actions to protect it. It's worth it to them to see if they can stretch it a little bit. Obviously, they can't claim an exclusive right to wax seals. Those are common. They have already won cases based on an exclusive right to the tendrils. Since Cuervo got rid of their tendrils, I assume Maker's is claiming an exclusive right to that particular shade of red in a wax seal.

I haven't read the complaint or looked into the previous action between these two parties, but I suspect there is something in the previous decision that makes them believe they have a reasonable chance of prevailing in this case.

Josh
09-15-2009, 18:05
I'm quite happy with the wimpiest hot sauce on the market, Frank's Red Hot. I will hit Tabasco and some Hab sauces now and then, and I dust a lot of vegetables with cayenne, but Frank's is my go-to. People who like ultra hot foods are often the same ones who want the over-proof whiskeys and other spirits, and drink them neat. I don't judge.

Franks is a fine sauce and Tabasco is an American institution. The fastest way to tell a true hot sauce lover from a poseur is to ask them how they feel about Tabasco. If they poopoo it, then you know they're the latter.

And for the record, I love hot food, but I don't drink barrel-proof whiskeys neat. Nor do I know everybody in my state.

MarkEdwards
09-15-2009, 18:46
No one would deny that Maker's trademark is very valuable. The protectable limits of a trademark are only knowable through actions to protect it.

Just to give an idea why companies fight hard, sometimes ridiculously so, here is a list of words that USED to be trademarks, but were not defended vigorously enough (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks):

* Aspirin Still a Bayer trademark name for acetylsalicylic acid in about 80 countries, including Canada and many countries in Europe, but declared generic in the U.S.
* Cellophane Originally a trademark of DuPont.
* Dry ice Trademarked by the Dry Ice Corporation of America in 1925.
* Escalator Originally a trademark of Otis Elevator Company.
* Heroin Trademarked by Friedrich Bayer & Co in 1898.
* Hoover This is a trademarked product from the Hoover Company, North Canton, Ohio. Its popularity, mainly in the United Kingdom, led to vacuum cleaners being referred to as Hoovers.
* Kerosene First used around 1852.
* Lanolin Trademarked as the term for a preparation of sheep fat and water.
* Laundromat coin laundry shop.
* Linoleum Floor covering, originally coined by Frederick Walton in 1864, and ruled as generic following a lawsuit for trademark infringement in 1878; probably the first product name to become a generic term.
* Mimeograph Originally trademarked by Albert Dick.
* Pilates exercise system United States trademark formally canceled by court in 2000.
* Thermos Originally a Thermos GmbH trademark name for a vacuum flask; declared generic in the U.S. in 1963.
* Touch-tone Dual tone multi-frequency telephone signaling; AT&T states "formerly a trademark of AT&T".
* Trampoline Originally trademarked by George Nissen for the generic "rebound tumbler"
* Videotape Originally trademarked by Ampex Corporation., an early manufacturer of audio and video tape recorders.
* Webster's Dictionary The publishers with the strongest link to the original are Merriam-Webster, but they have a trademark only on "Merriam-Webster", and other dictionaries are legally published as "Webster's Dictionary".
* Yo-Yo Still a Papa's Toy Co. Ltd. trademark name for a spinning toy in Canada, but declared generic in the U.S. in 1965.
* Zipper Originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich.

cowdery
09-15-2009, 18:59
I can add a little on Laundromat from personal experience. Westinghouse Electric Company coined the term for their brand of coin-operated laundry equipment and registered the trademark. The trademark originally applied to the equipment itself and only by extension to the business that used the Westinghouse-made machines.

My dad was an engineer for them and whenever he would see an offending coin-operated laundry, he would dutifully write down the name and address of the offender, and pass it along to the company's legal department. They eventually told him not to bother because they had given up trying to defend it. The word was just too useful, and violations were so persistent, that they couldn't afford to keep it up. Dad was very disappointed.

Part of the problem, in that and many of the other cases, was in the fact that all of the violators were small operations. Also, trademark law has evolved quite a bit since the 1960s, which is the period I'm talking about. Now you can get damages that get people's attention. I think Westinghouse also did a poor job of linking the two brands together, so very few people automatically thought "Westinghouse" when they heard "Laundromat."

That's a good list. I think it helps people understand how ephemeral trademarks can be.

ILLfarmboy
09-15-2009, 19:09
I'm quite happy with the wimpiest hot sauce on the market, Frank's Red Hot. I will hit Tabasco and some Hab sauces now and then, and I dust a lot of vegetables with cayenne, but Frank's is my go-to. People who like ultra hot foods are often the same ones who want the over-proof whiskeys and other spirits, and drink them neat. I don't judge.


I like barrel proof bourbons and ryes. Cask strength scotches not so much, I think they benefit from a little water. But I'm a complete wimp when it comes to spicy food. Like Chuck, I like Frank's Red Hot. I also liked something called Tiger Sauce. Despite its name it wasn't very hot and had good flavor. It was kinda sweet and I quite liked it on my scrambled eggs. In fact I'd say it was milder than Frank's. But I can't find it anymore.

ErichPryde
09-15-2009, 19:39
I like barrel proof bourbons and ryes. Cask strength scotches not so much, I think they benefit from a little water. But I'm a complete wimp when it comes to spicy food. Like Chuck, I like Frank's Red Hot. I also liked something called Tiger Sauce. Despite its name it wasn't very hot and had good flavor. It was kinda sweet and I quite liked it on my scrambled eggs. In fact I'd say it was milder than Frank's. But I can't find it anymore.


http://www.redbagcollection.com/tigersauce.html ???? Is this it? never tried it before.

ILLfarmboy
09-15-2009, 19:47
http://www.redbagcollection.com/tigersauce.html ???? Is this it? never tried it before.


Yep, That's it.

Thanks for the link. If I can't find any the next time I go shopping, I think I'll order some from them.