Maker's Mark wins wax seal trademark case

07 April, 2010

Maker’s Mark has won a trademark infringement case against Cuervo tequila. A judgment has confirmed that the whiskey’s free-form red wax seal coating is a well-known and valid trademark.

The verdict from federal judge John G. Heyburn II, of the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, has prohibited Jose Cuervo International, its affiliates and Cuervo’s US distributor Diageo North America from the use of a dripping red wax seal on any Cuervo tequila products.

Bill Samuels, president, Maker’s Mark said: “We’re very pleased that a Federal court has ruled that our unique trade dress and bottle design are proprietary to Maker’s Mark and off limits to our competitors.

“Maker’s Mark is unique in many ways, starting first and foremost with our recipe and ending with our iconic red neck coating. We hand dip and personalize every Maker’s Mark bottle … this has been our signature trademark since my mom dipped our very first bottle and always will be. We were confident this would be the outcome, and the formal result is very gratifying.”

Judge Heyburn found that consumers and others might be confused about the origin of Cuervo products bearing a device similar to the red wax seal of Maker’s Mark.

Maker’s Mark was represented in this litigation by a team from the law firm of Kenyon & Kenyon of Washington DC, led by Edward T. Colbert.





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