Supreme Court set to hear dog toy trial — RT World News


Several iconic brands have joined whiskey maker Jack Daniel’s in trademark dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide as early as Monday whether it will hear the Jack Daniel whiskey brand infringement case against dog toy maker VIP Products, whose squeaky toy parody “Bad Spaniels” mimics both the shape and design of the distillery’s emblematic bottle. .


The dog toy version of the bottle replaces Jack Daniel’s “Old mark n°7” and “Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey” with “The Old No. 2 on Your Tennessee Mat”, further stretching the fecal pun by replacing “43% poo per flight.” and “100% smelly” for the 40% alcohol content and the 100 proof labeling of the whisky.

The whiskey maker’s parent company, Brown-Forman Corp., has urged the high court to review the case, insisting the lower court’s ruling in favor of VIP provides “almost total protection” trademark-infringing parodies. The offending toy “confuses consumers by taking advantage of Jack Daniel’s hard-earned goodwill”, and such confusion could have “broad and dangerous consequences”, Brown-Forman’s lead attorney, Lisa Blatt, wrote.

If a dog toy company can mimic Jack Daniel’s packaging identification markers, “other fun counterfeiters can do the same with juice boxes or marijuana-infused gummies,” Blatt argued, alluding to several instances in which children accidentally consumed cannabis edibles that had been packaged to look like popular candy brands.

VIP’s lawyers disagreed, commenting: “It’s ironic that America’s first whiskey distiller both lacks a sense of humor and doesn’t recognize when he – and everyone else – has had enough.” The beverage company simply “make war” against the manufacturer of dog toys “to have the temerity to produce a parody filled with puns” from its container, they said.

VIP has been selling the Bad Spaniels squeaky toy since 2014. While Jack Daniel’s sued them and initially won, the decision was overturned in VIP’s favor on appeal, and the company’s first attempt to have the case settled. brought before the Supreme Court was refused. .

Several other popular brands, including Campbell Soup and Levi Strauss jeans, are supporting the distiller in its efforts to convince the Supreme Court of the importance of the case this time around. There is precedent – ​​a court in 2008 banned VIP from selling its counterfeit Budweiser ButtWiper – but in 2007 a federal appeals court sided with another dog toy maker, Haute Diggity. Dog, defending his right to sell. “Soft Vuitton” chew toys against the owner of the brand Louis Vuitton.

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