Film director Francis Ford CoppolaÂs winery has sued Oregon-based vineyard Copa di Vino, claiming the winery is infringing its trade dress and trade marks.Â Â
Coppola, who is best known as the director of The Godfather trilogy, is the owner of the winery, based in Napa, California.
GMYL, the owner of CoppolaÂs wine-related trade marks, filed the claim yesterday, August 30 2016, at the US District Court for the Central District of California.
Copa, and its owner James Martin, are being sued for trade mark and trade dress infringement (the US version of Passing Off), and unfair competition.
GMYL claimed CopaÂs WinemakerÂs Cut, which features the trade mark ÂCopaÂ, was confusingly similar to its own wine, DirectorÂs Cut, which features the trade mark ÂCoppolaÂ.
Claiming trade dress infringement, GMYL alleged that Copa had copied GMYLÂs Diamond Collection Black Label Claret wine.
The trade dress includes a vertical rectangular black label on the front-centre of the wine bottle, the word ÂCoppolaÂ in large, bold, capital letters, gold design elements and a thin gold net surrounding the entire bottle which Âpresents an overall diamond pattern encompassing the wine bottleÂ.
GMYL also claimed that Martin was aware of the Coppola winery as he had approached Francis Coppola Winery, a company affiliated with GMYL, and proposed a business venture on behalf of Copa in 2011.
It is still in the very early stages and we will have to wait for the outcome of this case in due course.