Texas Rangers Oppose Bacardi's Logo For Green Tea Spirit Because Of The 'T'

from the texas-tee dept

More alcohol industry trademark news for you folks, except this time the ridiculous party in the story is not in the alcohol industry. This particular dispute revolves around a new liquor from Bacardi called "Tang," and if you thought the most likely party to object to Bacardi's trademark application for the new brand was from a soda company, you aren't alone. Unfortunately, the Texas Rangers, who I'm fairly certain are still in the baseball business, beat everyone else to the punch.

Bacardi’s Tang is a liquor distilled from fermented Chinese green tea. It’s applied to the Patent and Trademark Office to register its “Tang” logo for a tea distilled spirit and alcoholic beverages except beer. The ball club is fighting Bacardi’s registration because, it says, the “T” in Bacardi’s Tang logo looks too much like the “T” in the Texas Rangers logo.

And here are the logos in question, side by side.


Now, while the letters "T" in both logos do look kinda-sorta similar, there's a slight chance that's because it's a single freaking letter in the English language and there are only so many ways to depict a capital "T" in a recognizable way. The only real stylistical similarity in the two "T"s is the outjuts in the mid-section of the stem in each letter — known as "median spurs" and found on lots and lots of typefaces. Other than that, the letters are actually fairly distinct in style. And, of course, the rest of each logo has a shit-ton of other components which all severely demonstrate the source of each logo. This makes customer confusion laughably unlikely, particularly given that the Texas Rangers are known by the public to be in the sporting industry, even though the team claims it holds trademarks on its logo for use on beverages and food services.

Still, the Rangers have claimed that the public might think Tang is affiliated with the team. Which is ridiculous. And yet... it looks like settlement talks are already in the works.

So far, not much has happened in the cancellation proceedings. But one item on the case docket indicates that the matter has been suspended while the parties engage in settlement negotiations.

I'm a bit surprised that Bacardi, a company with the resources to defend itself, is even bothering with the settlement talks. The only way it would make sense to me is if the "settlement" was light on any monetary exchange, because the Rangers don't have much of a chance on this one.

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Filed Under: baseball, drinks, t, tang, trademark
Companies: bacardi, texas rangers


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2016 @ 12:40am

    Even if the Ts were exactly the same, it's absurd to have a trademark on a single letterface style, especially since it's most likely from an existing typeface that you can't own because typefaces aren't able to be copyrighted in the US.

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