You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Sunday 5 July 2015

Diageo loses battle over Explorers’ Club whisky

6th August, 2014 by Lauren Eads

Johnnie Walker could be ordered to stop selling bottles of its Explorers’ Club whisky after a judge ruled it had unfairly profited from the name of the real-life Explorers’ Club.

Johnnie-Walker The Diageo-owned Scotch whisky brand launched its Explorers’ Club whisky collection in 2012, sold exclusively in duty-free shops.

However in March of this year The Explorers’ Club, which is based in Manhattan and counts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin among its members, filed a lawsuit against Diageo alleging it had stolen its trademark for the luxury Scotch whisky range. It was also alleged the whisky label is printed in a font that is “confusingly similar” to the one used by the club.

This week a Manhattan judge ruled that Diageo had profited off an association with the world-renowned club without permission and ordered it to remove bottles from the shelves and cease using the name, as reported by the New York Post. 

Judge Ramos said: “It is clear that Diageo’s adoption of the name of the Explorers’ Club was for the purpose of leading the public to believe that it was connected or affiliated with the club.”

Ramos said Diageo had “profited enormously” from the range which he said had achieved about $50 million in sales.

A spokeswoman for Diageo said: “We are extremely disappointed and disagree with the decision of Judge Ramos. “We are awaiting official receipt of the order and are planning to seek to stay the injunction while we immediately appeal this case.”

Johnnie Walker’s Explorers’ Club Collection included three whiskies labeled The Spice Road, The Gold Route and The Royal Route.

The Explorers Club, a not-for-profit organisation, was founded in 1904 to “promote the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences.”

It’s members have been responsible for “an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon.”

It is understood it is now pursuing a separate federal case against Diageo for monetary damages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

US wine brand hopes to ape craft beer success

A wine brand from California is hoping to ape craft beer’s success in the UK more...

Hart Davis Hart biggest in US

Chicago-based wine auctioneer Hart Davis Hart is the market leader in the US in more...

Top 10 wines in the US press

An impressive Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel blend from Uruguay and a Vernaccia from more...

Brown-Forman launches first rye whiskey

Brown-Forman's Woodford Reserve is extending its range and tapping into the US more...

WW1 Scotch to be auctioned

A bottle of Scotch whisky purportedly belonging to a soldier in the First World more...

Diageo closes in on £200m Gleneagles deal

Drinks giant Diageo is reportedly “close” to agreeing a sale of its luxury more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Diageo appoints North America president

Deirdre Mahlan, Diageo's chief financial officer, has been announced as the more...

Red wine could help fight depression

A component found in the skins of red grapes could be used to treat depression more...

Oregon producer takes international view

One of Oregon’s youngest wine estates has partnered with Jackson Family Wines more...

PR Manager

Competitive

Machine makes 'non-clinking' ice cubes

An Italian design company has joined forced with Chivas to launch a machine more...

Diageo 'shelves' £240m Chinese scheme

Swellfun, the Chinese subsidiary of drinks giant Diageo, has reportedly more...

Prince Charles enjoys Scotch tour

HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, paid a visit to a number of Scotch whisky more...

Global Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

SWA creates heavyweight London team

The Scotch Whisky Association has appointed a number of senior high-fliers from more...

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, reporting more...

US Senate passes bill to boost spirits exports

The US senate has been applauded by members of the spirits trade for passing a more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

Coors Light heads home

Sometimes, the route to excellence is a process of devolution rather than more...

AB InBev invests $1.5bn in US

Brewing colossus Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to invest over US$1 more...

William Grant in World Cup deal

William Grant & Sons has been awarded exclusive spirits and champagne pouring more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

Beck's forced to issue $50 refunds

Anyone that has bought a Beck's beer in the past four years could be entitled more...

Diageo confirms Gleneagles sale to Shoreditch group

Diageo has confirmed the sale of its luxury hotel and golf resort in more...