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?

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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