Jack Daniel's: Local Distiller Ripped Off Trademark - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Jack Daniel's: Local Distiller Ripped Off Trademark

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by Todd Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn – Representatives for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey have claimed another local distillery copied their bottle's famous design.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey has claimed to be the best selling whiskey in the country, and has been distilling and bottling in the Volunteer State since 1866.

A new lawsuit in federal court claimed Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey's new bottle looks too similar to Jack Daniel's.

Jack Daniel's Properties Inc. filed a trademark infringement suit and said sometime in 2012 Popcorn Sutton's changed from selling in clear mason jars to a black bottle. Jack Daniel's representatives alleged it was "confusingly similar to its own."

In the lawsuit, Jack Daniel's said it has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm from the new labeling. The company said Popcorn Sutton's fonts, the shape of the bottle and even the color of the label look too much like its own product, which has remained relatively unchanged for decades.

Jack Daniel's has asked for a jury trial. It was hoping a jury would find what the company has already deemed to be an illegally similar product.

They wanted Popcorn Sutton to cease and desist the production of the new labeling, destroy the entire existing product with the new label and bottles, pay back the profits Popcorn Sutton received since the new labeling, and pay damages Jack Daniel's sustained because of the new bottle.

In order for that to happen, Jack Daniel's has to prove they actually had damaged profits because of Popcorn Sutton's labels.

Jack Daniel's is a behemoth of a company compared to a pretty small local distillery.

In the suit, Popcorn Sutton's current owner quotes the original Popcorn Sutton when he said he always wanted to bottle his product when he had the money to do so.

He said his whiskey was "too good to be in a jar."

Because of the pending lawsuit Popcorn Sutton's lawyers would not comment, and Jack Daniel's lawyers didn't return calls for comment.

Email: twalker@newschannel5.com
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