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  1. #1
    Virtuoso
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    Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Today, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that Diageo had infringed on Maker's Mark's trademark by using a red wax top on its Casa Cuervo tequila.

    The opinion is well written and includes a fair amount of bourbon history with numerous citations to Chuck Cowdery, and the opening line is fantastic.

    Interesting stuff!

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions...2a0126p-06.pdf

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Dude, what's up with Diego, seriously! They're fast becoming the Enron of the spirit industry
    |-o-| [-o-] |-o-| "I'm on the leader"

  3. #3
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    I should note that Mike Veach is also cited.

    Just so non-lawyers know, it's a big deal to be cited in a federal appeals court brief, and this court clearly had judges (or clerks) who knew their stuff bourbon-wise.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Interesting and certainly a sophisticated analysis.

    If I understand the core of what the court is saying, it's that because tequila and bourbon are both in the general class of distilled spirits, it is reasonable to restrict use of the dripping red wax-like coating to Maker's Mark for such spirits because it was reasonable that people might think a tequila packaged that way came from the company which makes Maker's Mark or that the two products were associated in some way. Is that how the lawyers (or others) on the board read it?

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 05-10-2012 at 05:39.

  5. #5
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    Interesting and certainly a sophisticated analysis.

    If I understand the core of what the court is saying, it's that because tequila and bourbon are both in the general class of distilled spirits, it is reasonable to restrict use of the dripping red wax-like coating to Maker's Mark for such spirits because it was reasonable to think people might think a tequila packaged that way came from the company which makes Maker's Mark or that the two products were associated in some way. Is that how the lawyers (or others) on the board read it?

    Gary
    Yup. Another lawsuit I thought was imminent was the brand "1800" for tequila. It's in a Jose cuervo type bottle. Then I learned they were owned by the same family. Who by the way is about to sell cuervo to diageo.
    I'm just glad the judge refused to grant any damages.
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Very interesting opinion. I never worked on anything this cool when I was clerking. Congrats to Chuck on being cited.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Here's a discussion we had on the subject a couple of years ago:


    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...kers+marketing
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Wow, that's a very cool read..and congrats to Chuck!

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
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    Dayton, OH
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    Interesting and certainly a sophisticated analysis.

    If I understand the core of what the court is saying, it's that because tequila and bourbon are both in the general class of distilled spirits, it is reasonable to restrict use of the dripping red wax-like coating to Maker's Mark for such spirits because it was reasonable that people might think a tequila packaged that way came from the company which makes Maker's Mark or that the two products were associated in some way. Is that how the lawyers (or others) on the board read it?

    Gary
    So is this limited to liquor? My 2012 FFF Dark Lord comes to mind, red wax capped. FFF waxes their RIS and BW with different colors each year to date the bottles.

  10. #10
    Disciple
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    Re: Federal Appeals Court Rules for Maker's

    Considering where the Sixth Circuit is I'd say the Diageo boys always had an uphill battle on this one. I won't have the time to read it carefully for a few days. Maybe all those legal fees could have been better spent especially when no damages were awarded?
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

 

 

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