50 Cent’s Cognac and Rémy Martin settle bottle dispute
A legal dispute between rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent and Rémy Martin has been settled over intellectual property rights to bottle shape.
In 2021, Rémy Martin filed a lawsuit against 50 Cent’s Branson Cognac brand due to the shape of its bottle, claiming it was taking from the company’s own XO brand.
The rapper’s Sire Spirits business, which owns Branson cognac, had previously described the lawsuit as meritless, but a judge last year said it was “not a case in which the claimed and accused designs are so plainly dissimilar that it is implausible that an ordinary observer would confuse them.”
It is now understood a confidential settlement has been reached this month, which has ended the litigation against the brand.
At the time of writing, it is not known if any money was exchanged or product modifications will be required to end the dispute, although a spokesperson did confirm that an agreement has been reached.
A spokesperson said to Billboard magazine: “Rémy appreciates and respects Mr. Jackson’s entry into the Cognac market and the parties share a common vision for the future of this exceptional and precious spirit. The parties are gratified that this matter could be resolved amicably.”
It comes as there has been a number of legal disputes between celebrity entrepreneurs and large drinks brands.
In February, a dispute between rapper Jay-Z and spirits giant Bacardi over joint Cognac venture D’ussé was resolved. Jay-Z instigated the litigation by demanding a buy-out over concerns that a Bacardi subsidiary (Empire Investments Inc.), which looked after the daily operations of D’ussé, had mismanaged the Cognac brand by failing to prepare for a surge in consumer interest.
This month, musician and entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ wine and spirits business filed legal action against Diageo in New York, claiming the drinks firm neglected his brand on the grounds of race.
The news also follows 50 Cent enjoying great success at this year’s Rodeo Uncorked in Houston, with a bottle from his Le Chemin du Roi Champagne brand selling at auction for an unprecedented US$325,000.
Texas resident Jackson has become something of a regular at the event, spending US$125,000 on a single bottle of 2017 Hye Meadow Winery Boooom Red at last year’s edition. But this year, the ‘I Get Money’ singer outdid himself, successfully bidding US$165,000 on the 2020 Bernhardt Winery Antiquity Chardonnay Reserve Danube Plain, from Houston Hill Country, which won the Best of Show Reserve Champion title.
But the rapper’s successful day did not stop there. His Le Chemin du Roi Brut Champagne AOC won Grand Champion Best of Show.
The winning wine was then put up for auction, with the successful bidders from J. Alan Kent Development forking out US$325,000 for a bottle that might normally retail for around US$150. Proceeds from the auction go towards supporting Texas youth programmes.
Jackson launched Le Chemin du Roi, meaning ‘the king’s path’, in 2018 and, perhaps fittingly given his success at Rodeo Uncorked, described it at the time as being “for winners only“. Each bottle is adorned with a 14 karat gold-plated emblem resembling the king chess piece.