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Jack Daniels Files Trade Dress Lawsuit Against Competitor

By Eric Misterovich

Large-scale whiskey distillery, Jack Daniel’s, has filed a trade dress lawsuit against a small whiskey distillery, Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey (“Sutton”), claiming Sutton’s bottling and labeling is “confusingly similar” to the easily acknowledged Jack Daniel’s packaging.

At their start, Sutton Whiskey was produced in mason jars to pay homage to its white whiskey founder, the late Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. However, in late 2012, Sutton debuted new square-shaped bottles with a different label. This alteration was the catalyst behind Jack Daniel’s legal action seeking to have those bottles removed from the market. According to Jack Daniels, “[Suttons’] use of the new Popcorn Sutton’s trade dress in connection with their Tennessee white whiskey 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.”

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that both whiskey bottles are square shaped with angled shoulders and sloped corners. Additionally, both whiskey bottle labels contain white text on black labeling.  Finally, Sutton’s font style on its bottle labeling is comparable to the Jack Daniel’s label. In addition to seeking an injunction on Sutton’s new bottles, Jack Daniel’s is also seeking an unspecified amount of damages. According to reports, Sutton has been non-responsive to inquiries about the lawsuit.

If you seek representation in a trade dress infringement lawsuit, contact the trade dress attorneys at Revision Legal at 855-473-8474.

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