LOS ANGELES (CN) – Vampire Vineyards claims Martha Stewart and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia are pushing inferior wine under the Vampire trademark. Vampire claims that its “quite serious wines” sell for $10 to $30 a bottle, and that Stewart is pushing “cheap nondescript wine and spirit products” under the Vampire label.
In its federal trademark complaint, Vampire says that Stewart aimed her inferior wine at the same consumer, “that is, a typical 32-year-old female with some college education.”
Vampire and its CEO Michael Machat say they have had Vampire trademarks for years, for wines and spirits, and have built up a cult following, thanks in part to their ad campaign “has consistently stressed that Vampire Vineyards are run by a group of Vampires and that Machat, a mere mortal and attorney, is the front for a circle of Vampires.”
Vampire claims its wine is sold in 47 states, and have a reputation for quality. It claims that “Stewart and Omnimedia, and all other defendants, are intentionally attempting to disparage and tarnish plaintiff’s wine brands by portraying a mock label of Vampire Vineyards attached to cheap nondescript wine and spirits. Upon information and belief, defendants’ acts were done maliciously and with the intent to injure and malign plaintiff’s good will built up over many years of hard work with the express purpose of allowing defendant Stewart to capture plaintiff’s market share and to otherwise profit off of plaintiffs’ hard-earned goodwill.”
The complaint cites an ad for Stewart’s Vampire Vineyard in the October issue of Family Circle magazine.
Machat, who filed the case pro se, seeks an injunction and damages for trademark infringement and dilution, counterfeiting and unfair competition.
Also named as defendants are Meredith Corp., Wilton Products, Michaels Stories, Jo-Ann Stores, and Cornerstone Brands.