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smokinjoe
02-25-2010, 14:23
Don't step on Superman's cape...

http://www.packagingdigest.com/article/450836-US_Federal_Court_rules_to_protect_Malibu_rum_trade _dress.php?nid=3461&source=title&nid=6942636

I don't know how to post a picture, but you can see it at www.whiterockdistilleries.com Click on "Brands"/Rums

Moral to the story: Whether red wax or white bottles...The brand will be protected. As well it should be, IMO.

DeanSheen
02-25-2010, 14:51
I cant get on board with the wax.

smokinjoe
02-26-2010, 07:06
Robert, you don't think that Maker's should defend the "signature" of their brand? Why?

DeanSheen
02-26-2010, 08:28
Robert, you don't think that Maker's should defend the "signature" of their brand? Why?

No, I think going after any bottle that has "wax drips" on the outside is beyond the reasonable defenition of patent or I guess in this case brand infringement.

Commonsense things should be public use. Bottles had been dipped in wax before Makers Mark, just because they filed on it first does not mean, in my opinion, that they should be the only ones able to use "wax drippings" on the outside of their bottle.

I had been indifferent to the company based on the product, this sort of behavior has pushed me to dislike Makers Mark. IMO a mediocre overpriced brand focused more on it's brand identity than it's brand quality. I strongly dislike MM, do not purchase their products, and share this opinion with newbs in an effort to steer them away from a business model that has become all too common in the modern era, image vs. quality.

/off soapbox

whskylvr
02-26-2010, 10:20
The wax issue is ridiculous and so is Malibus white bottle.

Next someone is going to get it approved that my bourbon is in a clear bottle and no one else can have theirs in a clear bottle.

smokinjoe
02-26-2010, 10:32
The red wax tendrils are the single most identifying signature of a bottle of Maker’s Mark. It probably is the single most identifying signature of any bourbon on the market, if not any liquor in the world. They’ve spent a lot of time, effort and resources to promote it. They have been given at least some legal protection for it. Regardless of what you think about the company and the product, I think you would have to agree that if they felt it was being infringed, and did not vigorously defend it, they simply would not be doing their job.

CorvallisCracker
02-26-2010, 11:07
Commonsense things should be public use. Bottles had been dipped in wax before Makers Mark, just because they filed on it first does not mean, in my opinion, that they should be the only ones able to use "wax drippings" on the outside of their bottle.

I had been indifferent to the company based on the product, this sort of behavior has pushed me to dislike Makers Mark. IMO a mediocre overpriced brand focused more on it's brand identity than it's brand quality. I strongly dislike MM, do not purchase their products, and share this opinion with newbs in an effort to steer them away from a business model that has become all too common in the modern era, image vs. quality.


What he said.

Oh, wait, I said it too (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=121206&postcount=9).

ILLfarmboy
02-26-2010, 11:56
I cant get on board with the wax.

MM always has that one trendel that extends down the side of the bottle. I know it is a bit of OCD on my part, but it has always bugged me, like a loose thread on my clothing or a torn label on something. I've even cut the damn thing off....

Ultra
02-27-2010, 08:54
No, I think going after any bottle that has "wax drips" on the outside is beyond the reasonable definition of patent or I guess in this case brand infringement.

Commonsense things should be public use. Bottles had been dipped in wax before Makers Mark, just because they filed on it first does not mean, in my opinion, that they should be the only ones able to use "wax drippings" on the outside of their bottle.

I had been indifferent to the company based on the product, this sort of behavior has pushed me to dislike Makers Mark. IMO a mediocre overpriced brand focused more on it's brand identity than it's brand quality. I strongly dislike MM, do not purchase their products, and share this opinion with newbs in an effort to steer them away from a business model that has become all too common in the modern era, image vs. quality.

/off soapbox

:bowdown:

One cannot own the intangible.

smokinjoe
02-27-2010, 10:07
Check these out. They all will protect their brand.

http://www.trademarklawbriefs.com/?cat=42

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s439062.htm

http://www.matr.net/article-10625.html

I'm sure there are many, many others. If this type of corporate behavior influences your choice of drink, then you'll probably have to swear off bourbon all together. ;)

Josh
02-27-2010, 15:10
Here's how I think about it. All companies have one goal: to make money. Good ones do everything within the law to make as much money as possible. One way to do that is to have greater marketshare than the competition. One way to do THAT is to have a product that stands out on the shelves. Marker's, more than any of its competitors, has done that. That has made them money. So they are going to do everything in their means to protect that advantage.

Whether I find that distasteful or not, that's what a company does. A company that doesn't try to make as much money as possible is not a company at all. It's a charity or a social club. As the old saying goes, you can't beat a dog for chasin' his tail.

DeanSheen
02-27-2010, 15:13
Sure, those are horrible cases also. The right to own "Wild" or "Yellowstone" is also absurd and the weak standards which our court system allows these things to be challenged on is also an issue.

But restricting the use of any wax on any beverage with alcohol in it is beyond the pale. I'm simply stating my opinion on the situation and realize that it has little relevance to the law, it's just my opinion on the law and the product. I prefer to be an informed consumer for the most part and enjoy spending my dollars accordingly.

In this case it means not buying MM and advocating the purchase of a similar product at a lesser price point with similar taste characteristics and not supporting the fancy packaging and marketing campaigns which are not value added features of the Makers Mark product to me as a consumer.

craigthom
02-27-2010, 16:59
I don't think it's wax-covered tops in general that Maker's Mark goes after. There are plenty of those. I think it's the dripping wax, which is distinctively MM. And they say they aim for three big drips, not just one.

AVB
02-28-2010, 06:16
It comes down to protecting the most stupid elements of society. If you are too dumb, or ignorant to f'in read the label then it is nobody's fault but yours.

Next we'll have Jim suing Jack for using a square bottle or vice-versa.

Dramiel McHinson
02-28-2010, 12:22
This thread reminds me of my biggest complaint about my enjoyment of all things bourbon. There is something very enjoyable about buying a bottle of bourbon that is artistically packaged, produced in the artisan style and sold for a reasonable price.

All of that goes out the window when the industry smells big money. It almost appears to me that the marketing strategy and the protection of those singularly identifiable traits on the bottle eclipse all other aspects of producing fine affordable bourbon.

I don't have problems with them going after market share and enjoying a profit that keeps them in business but dang....does my rear end have to hurt everytime I go for a highly rated good bottle of bourbon. Scotch is much worse that's why I had to give it up. I can no longer afford the mediocre bottles.

The law is the law but it seems sad that wax drips are now corporate trademarks. Next thing you now they will trade mark red cans of soda.

ILLfarmboy
02-28-2010, 12:25
It comes down to protecting the most stupid elements of society. If you are too dumb, or ignorant to f'in read the label then it is nobody's fault but yours.



Damn straight!
...............

steeltownbbq
02-28-2010, 12:57
Who is really making the money in these disputes is the lawyers. Win or lose they get theirs. And the corporate giants will always win because of deep pockets as they drain the little guy who is trying to create something new and innovative.

craigthom
03-02-2010, 12:06
Next we'll have Jim suing Jack for using a square bottle or vice-versa.

The better argument would have been against Evan Williams and Ezra Brooks, both of which, with their square bottles, black labels, and two word proper names, were clearly copies of Jack Daniels.

cowdery
03-02-2010, 14:25
With trademark law, it is the obligation of the trademark owner to defend the mark. There is no Office of Trademark Enforcement. Naturally, companies with valuable trademarks will alway err on the side of being too aggressive in defense, since being too lax can have expensive consequences.

Courts are fallible and sometimes make bad decisions. That's why there are appeals courts. Trademark law is often misunderstood by non-lawyers. The potential for consumer confusion is always the key question.

Although the infringement doesn't have to be deliberate, it often is, and 'clones' or 'knock-offs' have a long tradition in the distilled spirits industry. The trick is to create an imitation that is close enough to get the consumer to at least think, "gee, this looks similar to that (so it might actually be similar) and it's $2 cheaper. I think I'll try it." But is not close enough to support a trademark action.

fishnbowljoe
03-02-2010, 16:53
You just never know about these things. I am originally from Indianapolis Indiana. There is a small town/village on the far north side of Indy. Carmel Indiana. Their high schools sports teams are called the Carmel Greyhounds. A guy opened a bar/pub there called The Greyhound Bar and Grill, or The Greyhound Pub IIRC. The Greyhound bus company pitched a fit and filed a lawsuit. That was that. No more Greyhound Pub. Joe

Josh
03-02-2010, 17:17
You just never know about these things. I am originally from Indianapolis Indiana. There is a small town/village on the far north side of Indy. Carmel Indiana. Their high schools sports teams are called the Carmel Greyhounds. A guy opened a bar/pub there called The Greyhound Bar and Grill, or The Greyhound Pub IIRC. The Greyhound bus company pitched a fit and filed a lawsuit. That was that. No more Greyhound Pub. Joe

Good for them. F!#$ Carmel! And Fishers for that matter! Oh and you too, Noblesville! Hell, all Hamilton County can bite me. :lol:

cowdery
03-03-2010, 10:18
Back on the subject of white whiskey, Koval is in my neighborhood. I visited them last week. Read all about it here (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-visit-koval-my-neighborhood.html).