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  1. #11
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    As TComp knows, it is a trademark owner's responsibility to defend the mark and if an owner fails to zealously defend a mark, it can lose its value. I'm sure no one would deny that the value of Duke University's trademark is considerable. So Duke has to take on anybody who seems like even a long shot infringer. Every company with a valuable brand does this and sometimes the challenges can look or be made to look ridiculous but it doesn't seem so odd once you understand how trademark law works. Obviously, the Wayne estate has something valuable at stake too. Mainly what will happen as this unfolds is that the limits of how each entity can use the word "duke" will be established. Unfortunately for both, the word "duke" has a generic meaning as the male ruler of a duchy, and I don't recall Duke University ever suing Duke Ellington. Duke University certainly uses "Duke" as a brand and although it was John Wayne's nickname, the Wayne estate has never tried to make a brand out of it until now, so obviously they are pushing awfully close to if not actually into Duke's territory. It's not a frivolous action by any stretch. And the fact that the whiskey seems like a really shoddy, half-assed piece of work doesn't help their cause.
    Last edited by cowdery; 07-14-2014 at 20:33.

  2. #12
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    While I defer to the legal scholar, as a layperson I wouldn't assume the two were related.
    Also, while Duke U. may have a trademark, to me it isn't a "brand"--no product, it's first and foremost a SCHOOL.
    So, even if it's not the greatest bourbon, let the market decide if it lives or dies.

    Off the top of my head, there's Northwestern Univ and Northwestern Mutual Insurance, Harvard Univ. and Harvard Foosball tables, Yale Univ and Yale locks
    "A man can take a little bourbon without getting drunk, but if you hold his mouth open and pour in a quart, he's going to get sick on it."
    LBJ

  3. #13
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    I don't have strong feelings either way but don't really see how it impinges on Duke University without blue lettering and goofy little devils on the label. But I thought it would have made more sense to call it "The Duke" bourbon (Although what would make the most sense is not putting what is probably mediocre whiskey at best on the market at all for more than $10-$15 in a standard bottom shelf label). He might have been known as Duke to his friends but I always kinda thought of John Wayne as "The Duke". You put that in Google and the first link is his wiki page. You put just "Duke" and the first link is the University.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  4. #14
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Truth is I suspect more people selected at random would associate the word Duke with the late Mr. Wayne than a university.
    Not a chance. Maybe with the geriatric crowd but I don't think anyone I know would even associate the word with John Wayne.

  5. #15
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    Alright I'll go with The Duke then.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  6. #16
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    Doesn't the university spell it dook anyway?

  7. #17
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    And for true geriatrics it would've been Edward, Duke of Winsor, who abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  8. #18
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    Quote Originally Posted by ramblinman View Post
    Not a chance. Maybe with the geriatric crowd but I don't think anyone I know would even associate the word with John Wayne.

    +1....ive never heard a duke/john wayne reference.....and im pushing 40
    Think about how stupid the average person is.....then realize that half of them are more stupid than that.

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    Saw a bottle at Binny's today. Certainly with the large image of Wayne (in cowboy gear, of course) on the label, marketplace confusion is highly unlikely. Still I understand why Duke University needs to file this. They'll probably settle out of court with an agreement that limits how the Wayne estate can use the term, and they'll have to put a little disclaimer line on the label somewhere.

    As an experiment, I encourage everyone to try the following with a couple people. Say, "What's the first thing that comes into your mind when I say 'Duke'?"

    My prediction: Duke University will win by a large margin, the rest will be split between John Wayne and Duke Ellington. Approximately 1/3 will think you said "Dude."

    By the way, the Lincoln Park Binny's is all torn up for some kind of remodeling and it looks like they're not reordering until they're finished because there were many more shelf-outs than usual. Also, no spirits specials on the floor and the whole place a mess.

    One interesting change, and I believe this is permanent and not part of the remodeling. They have moved all of the flavored whiskeys to the shelf with liqueurs, vermouths, gins, and other specialty spirits against the west wall. Some of the flavored whiskeys are, in fact, liqueurs. The Jack Honey is. But Red Stag is not and they have that over there too. I like it. (Sort of puts the lie to idea that flavored whiskeys are bringing new drinkers to the whiskey category, though.)

  10. #20
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    Re: A Complaint Filed Against a NDP

    I dunno I tend to think of this guy:
    640px-Charles_the_Bold_1460.jpg
    Or this guy:
    Gene Chandler.jpg
    bibamus, moriendum est
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