Jack Daniel’s Takes on Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey


I have written before about Jack Daniel’s efforts to protect the iconic design of the label and bottle for its Tennessee Whiskey.  Now, Jack Daniel’s has filed suit against J&M Concepts, LLC and Popcorn Sutton Distilling, LLC for infringement this”famous” trade dress which is allegedly embodied in, among other things, several trademark registrations with the USPTO.  The Defendants’ produce “Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey,” named after Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton (“Sutton”), a Appalachian moonshiner.

As alleged in the Complaint:

At some point in 2012, Defendants developed new packaging for Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee whiskey that embodied a dramatically different trade dress for the product.  …. This new packaging embodies trade dress featuring a combination of a square-shaped bottle with angled shoulders that house a signature and beveled comers, 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.

Accordingly, Jack Daniel’s alleges that Defendants’ product “is likely to cause purchasers and prospective purchasers of the product to believe mistakenly that it is a new Tennessee white whiskey product in the Jack Daniel’s line, that it is licensed or authorized by [Jack Daniel’s], and/or that there is a business relationship, affiliation, connection, or association between Defendants and [Jack Daniel’s].”   Based on this core allegation, claims are asserted for trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.

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