Square bottle squabble as Jack Daniels files trade mark infringement claim

Jack Daniels is one of the most popular spirits in the UK, easily recognisable on a bar by is square shaped bottle.

It is this bottle which is in the centre of the most recent trade mark dispute in the whiskey world.

The company behind Jack Daniels is Brown-Forman, and they have taken action against Dynasty Spirits and Buffalo Bayou Distilleries for their production of Lonehand Whiskey, in particular their ‘Tennessee Sour Mash’.

They have made the claim in the US and argue that Lonehand Whiskey products are an infringement of their registered trade marks and trade dress.

Trade Dress is the look and style of a product or brand.

The claim states that the Lonehand product is sold in a bottle which similar features, which include a square shape, angled shoulders and black cap and closure.

Not only are Brown-Forman arguing trade dress and trade mark infringement, the claim goes further to say that the Lonehand products were ‘unlawfully marketed’ as instructions were given to retailers for the products to be displayed next to Jack Daniels in an attempt to cause confusion.

This is seemingly backed up by the public who have criticised that brand for being of inferior quality.

Overall, Brown-Forman argue that the product “has impaired, and will continue to impair, the distinctive quality of the Jack Daniel’s trade dress in the marketplace.”

It will be interesting to see how this case develops, as it allows the court to consider once more the riding on the coattails of a well established brand.

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