Last week I received an email from Vidiot over at Cocktailians asking my thoughts on a recent email he received from a company claiming he violated a trademark through a name he gave a cocktail. (Whew!) You can read his post about the situation here. We exchanged emails throughout the day discussing the company which sent him the email, his reaction to the email and the current state of booze bloggery. My friend Jacob also wrote about this issue here.
I found this whole issue very interesting, not only because I’m a booze blogger but also as an attorney. However, I have very little knowledge of the law relating to intellectual property, trademarks, etc. An interesting thing about lawyers is that there is always someone a phone call or two away that has a much better understanding of a particular area of law.
In that vein, I contacted my friend Chris Leger to see if he would chime in. We met for drinks last Friday and he agreed to write an article discussing trademarks and cocktails. To my knowledge, this is the first article to discuss this issue on a cocktail blog written by a practicing attorney. I’m grateful to Chris for agreeing to write this and I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
The Gosling’s Dark ‘n’ Stormy Controversy Through an Intellectual Property Lens
by Christopher Leger
Gosling’s Dark ‘n’ Stormy Trademark
The recent New York Times article about Bahamian rum company Gosling’s owning a registered trademark for the drink name Dark ‘n Stormy has ignited a controversy that is making the rounds on many, many cocktail blogs, and serves as a very good opportunity to explain the impact of intellectual property law on issues that are important to the average person. This controversy must be discussed within the current intellectual property law framework, and specifically the current trademark law.