Agave Loco has filed a complaint against Sazerac Company, Inc. for trademark infringement in the Northern District of Illinois. Agave Loco complains that Sazerac’s use of ORCHATA in connection with a cream-based beverage made with rum is confusingly similar to its federally-registered trademarks RUMCHATA and CHATA in connection with cream-based horchata-flavored alcoholic beverages made with rum. Plaintiff alleges that Sazerac adopted the ORCHATA mark “with the intent to pass Defendants’ product off as Plaintiff’s product sold under [plaintiff’s marks] to consumers ordering Plaintiff’s product in bars, cocktail lounges and other establishments.”
Notably, Agave Loco admits that the flavoring for its beverages “was inspired by a beverage originally of Spanish origin called ‘horchata.'” It will be interesting to see whether Sazerac is able to use that admission to argue that all of the “chata” marks relate to a type of drink and that “chata” does not serve to identify a single producer but rather a type of rum drink.