Diageo files lawsuit against Bulleit Bourbon ‘copycat’
Diageo has lodged a lawsuit against US-based Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits over the bottle design of its Redemption whiskey brand, which it claims has been “revised to closely mimic” the appearance of its own Bulleit Bourbon brand.
The lawsuit was filed by the drinks producer at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, 6 June, according to the World Intellectual Property Review.
According to the lawsuit, Diageo has accused Redemption of redesigning its formely long and narrow cylinder-shaped bottle to a shorter, wider version with curved edges, which is claims too closely resembled its own Bulleit Bourbon, infringing on its trademark.
“Defendants engaged in the foregoing conduct in bad faith, with full knowledge of Diageo’s superior rights, and in a deliberate and wilful attempt to infringe Diageo’s rights and to trade on Diageo’s vast goodwill,” the lawsuit reads.
It goes on to accuse the Deutsch Family of redesigning the bottle and label in order to “knock off the appearance and unfairly trade on the reputation of Diageo’s extremely popular Bulleit brand”.
Diageo claims it had tried to get “defendants to voluntarily cease their infringing activity” but that Deutsch Family “refused to alter the packaging for the accused products”.
Diageo is seeking injunctive relief, destruction of infringing products, profits, damages and attorneys’ fees.
Earlier this year Diageo North America and Sazerac reached a settlement out of court, after Diageo claimed it had committed trademark infringement with the redesign of its Dr. McGillicuddy’s liqueur line, again claiming it too closely resembled Bulleit Bourbon, resulting in Sazerac agreed to alter its packaging.