Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Saturday, March 2, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Gonzaga Pulls the Plug on a Bar

SPOKANE (CN) - A bar that's drawn "substantial negative publicity" for naming a drink "Date Grape Koolaid" has nothing to do with Gonzaga University and must stop using the school's logos to promote itself, the Catholic school says in court.

Gonzaga sued Jamie Pendleton, Pendleton Enterprises and Pendleton Broadcasting for trademark infringement, in Federal Court.

Pendleton owns The Downtown Spokane Daiquiri Factory and uses Gonzaga's trademarks in promotions, including a Bulldog mascot wearing a Gonzaga jersey, according to the lawsuit.

The bar stirred controversy with a "Date Grape Koolaid" drink, which appeared to promote date rape, the complaint says.

"The Downtown Spokane Daiquiri Factory started advertising and offering an alcoholic drink which it refers to as 'Date Grape Koolaid,' which it appears to promote as related to a very sensitive and controversial subject to many, namely 'Date Rape.' The controversy received much publicity from the Spokane community, including media attention, which Gonzaga University considers to be negative publicity," according to the complaint.

The bar recently changed the name of the drink to "Grape #Q-Laid," after protests outside the club, a boycott drive and warning from Kool-Aid maker Kraft Foods, according to local media reports.

Gonzaga says the club's use of the bulldogs' trademarks created the impression of affiliation with the business and caused community members to voice "outrage" at the university.

"The combination of the substantial use of the Gonzaga University Trademarks & Identifiers in connection with a bar/tavern, the Date Grape Koolaid controversy, and other uses of the Gonzaga University Trademarks and Identifiers, have caused citizens and supporters to become confused as to whether there is an affiliation, connection, association or other business/commercial relationship between the Downtown Spokane Daiquiri Factory (Pendleton Enterprises, Jamie Pendleton), and Gonzaga University," the lawsuit states.

"In the past weeks for example, multiple concerned citizens have voiced a concern or outrage that Gonzaga University would be affiliated or associated with a business that would engage in conduct such as naming a drink Date Grape Koolaid."

Pendleton also operated an FM radio station that has used the call letters "KGZG-FM," and advertised as "GO ZAGS," according to the complaint.

Gonzaga says it's suffered damage to its goodwill and irreparable harm as a result of the negative association with Pendleton and the "Date Grape Koolaid" controversy and wants damages for trademark infringement, violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and unfair competition.

It also seeks an injunction requiring Pendleton to cease and desist from using any Gonzaga mark and remove any photos of Gonzaga marks from Web pages or other social media. Gonzaga also wants an order requiring Pendleton to issue "corrective advertising," stating Gonzaga has no affiliation with his businesses.

The complaint was filed by Mark Hendricksen of Wells St. John.

Gonzaga, a small school with enrollment of less than 8,000, has become a media darling for its basketball team's performance at NCAA tournaments.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.