from the once,-twice,-trademark-times-a-lady dept
Anyone reading this site will know by now that the alcohol business has a trademark problem. As a quick refresher, what used to be an industry largely dominated by massive macro-companies has since evolved into one of small players, with craft breweries and distilleries exploding in popularity. With the increased amount of brands and inventory on the market, so too has the practice of creatively named brands come into vogue. And with that has come the trademark squabbles. Examples of the trademark disputes centered around these creative names for brands will include a beer called 'Strikes Bock', a brew entitled 'Mus Knuckle', and a brewery called 'Innovation Brewing'.
Also, the incredibly creative brand 'No. 3', because this is trademark we're talking about and why the hell not?
Australian importer Savant Spirits has received a cease and desist letter from Berry Bros. & Rudd over an alleged trademark infringement of the ‘No.3’ marque. The UK based drinks company produces and markets No.3 London Dry Gin and holds a Class 33 ‘gin’ international trademark registration for ‘No.3′.Mark it down, because this is the day when a trademark dispute began over the number three, and if that isn't a sign of the apocalypse than I don't know what is. Keep in mind that trademark law is chiefly designed to avoid customer confusion when buying goods and services by allowing brands to serve as an identifier for their source. Who in the world is going to walk into a liquor store and mistake these two bottles for having come from the same source simply because both are branded with "No. 3?"
Savant Spirits started importing Zuidam Distilleries’ Flying Dutchman No.3 rum into the Australian market in February 2016. Savant Spirits director Ben Luzz told The Spirits Business he was “shocked” to receive the cease and desist letter shortly after imports began.
No moron is in enough of a hurry to make any mistake here. And I'm struggling to think of how anyone could possibly associate a common number with a specific company or brand. As always, the ultimate source of this misery is the office that approved this ludicrous trademark for a common integer. Which isn't to say that Berry Bros. & Rudd ought be left off the hook for its bullying tactics.
“It is despicable that the big boys at BB&R are taking such an aggressive stance against us and positively ludicrous that they would think consumers would confuse the two products,” said Patrick van Zuidam, master distiller at Zuidam Distillery.It doesn't matter, friend. This is what trademark has become.