Sazerac Co., the owner of the Buffalo Trace Distillery and its flagship BUFFALO TRACE bourbon, has filed suit against Crosby Lakes Spirits, Co. in the Western District of Kentucky for federal trademark and trade dress infringement and unfair competition. Sazerac complains that Crosby Lakes Spirits’ BISON RIDGE Canadian Whiskey is a competing product with a confusingly similar trademark and product packaging.
Each of the BISON RIDGE bottles prominently feature a sketched rendering of a standing, forward-facing buffalo, similar to the Buffalo Logo displayed on Sazerac’s BUFFALO TRACE product packaging. As with Sazerac’s BUFFALO TRACE whiskey, BISON RIDGE whisky is golden brown in color and both of its products (BISON RIDGE BLENDED CANADIAN WHISKY and BISON RIDGE SPECIAL RESERVE CANADIAN WHISKY) are marketed in clear bottles featuring the same color combination of brown, white, and gold. In addition, as with Sazerac’s BUFFALO TRACE product packaging, the neck label on the 1.0 Liter and 1.5 Liter BISON RIDGE BLENDED CANADIAN WHISKY products incorporate an image of a forward-facing buffalo in gold situated in between and immediately above the words “BISON” and “RIDGE,” which are displayed in white font.
The defendant has responded to the Complaint with a motion to dismiss for improper venue, arguing that the case should have been brought in Minnesota.