ICB loses Vodkat name in court battle

15 December, 2010

Diageo Great Britain (Diageo GB) has agreed a final settlement with Intercontinental Brands (ICB) in their dispute over ICBís Vodkat product. The settlement sees the end of litigation between the two companies that has been ongoing since 2008.

Under the terms of the settlement, ICB has agreed to change the Vodkat brand name and packaging to ensure it is clear to consumers that the product is not vodka and to pay Diageo a ďsubstantial sumĒ in damages and legal costs. †

Simon Litherland, managing director, Diageo GB, said: ďWe are pleased to have finally reached a settlement with ICB and that ICB has recognised that the use of the name Vodkat (or indeed any ďVODĒ prefixed brand name) on a product that is not vodka is likely to confuse consumers.

ďThe original Court decision and the decision of the Court of Appeal in July this year were important not only for Diageo but also for†other vodka brand owners and producers and for vodka consumers.†They will†ensure that the vodka category†can be protected from other "vodka lookalike"†products both now and†in the future and should help protect the long-term integrity of the vodka market in Great Britain.Ē

An ICB spokesperson said: "We have reached a final settlement with Diageo. The settlement sees the end of litigation between the two companies.
ICB has agreed to change the Vodkat brand name and packaging and will launch a new product from January/February 2011."

January 31 is the last day that ICB can ship stock out to wholesalers and retailers.†There is no date beyond which retailers and wholesalers who hold stocks of Vodkat cannot sell the product.





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Christian Davis

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