February 28

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Sazerac Sues Distiller Over Fireball Trade Dress – What Do You Think?

That picture pretty much sums up the gist of this complaint that Sazerac has filed against Caribbean Distillers (makers of Sonavavitch vodka (you’re reading that right)) for a product they are be planning on making… that’s right, it doesn’t exist yet.  But that’s not stopping the good folks who make Fireball from protecting their market share – estimated at over 7.57% (that’s a billion dollar brand, btw)

Here’s what’s at issue:  The money – that’s right, what more reason do you need.  

  • The alleged similarities – “As with Sazerac’s Fireball cinnamon whisky, Mad hen is”:
  • Brown in color
  • Cinnamon flavored;
  • Marketed in clear bottle of flask shape;
  • Label has same size and color combination as Fireball (orange-yellow, red and black
  • Label is “darkened along its edges, thus conveying a ‘charred’ or ‘burnt’ feel
  • Label contains fire imagery and features a nearly identical shape aln layout (brand name, font logo, orientation)
  • Red cap

Sazerac is vigorous in protecting this trade dress, from pursuing those using infringing Google AdWords to protecting against trade dress similarities – (and the competition is out there with similar designs – even one against a brewer that made a malt liquor):

Fireball Suit Malt Liquor.jpg

Fireball Sued Over this Malt Liquor Trade Dress

So, what do you think?