Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | Back issues
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Jack Daniel’s Tells Rival to Knock Off Knockoff

NASHVILLE (CN) - A Nashville distillery is deceptively trading off the "iconic" Jack Daniel's bottle design, the famous whiskey maker claims in Federal Court.

Jack Daniel's sued J&M Concepts and Popcorn Sutton Distilling, which produce and sell Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee white whiskey.

Defendants' whiskey is named after Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton, "an Appalachian moonshiner who committed suicide rather than report to federal prison to serve a sentence following his conviction on various offenses related to moonshine production," Jack Daniel's says in the lawsuit.

At first, the defendants sold their whiskey in Mason jars, "to honor the heritage of Sutton's moonshine." But "(a)t some point in 2012," they began selling it in bottles that obviously copy the famous Jack Daniel's bottle: "a square-shaped bottle with angled shoulders that house a signature and beveled corners, and labeling with a white-on-black color scheme, filigree designs, and a font style reminiscent of that of the Jack Daniel's trade dress," according to the complaint.

Jack Daniel's seeks an injunction, disgorgement of unjust profits, and damages for willful trademark infringement, deceptive trade, fraudulent misrepresentation, and unfair competition.

Jack Daniel's, which claims to be the best-selling whiskey in the United States, says it has been made continuously since 1866, except during Prohibition.

It is represented by Paige Waldrop Mills, with Bass, Berry & Sims, in Nashville.

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