***NEWS UPDATE*** SUPREME COURT TO HEAR “BAD SPANIEL’S” TRADEMARK CASE The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Brown-Forman’s lawsuit against the maker of a line of dog toys that parodies the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey brand. The case involves a dog toy labeled “Bad Spaniel’s Old No. 2 on your Tennessee Carpet,” and is part of a line of dog toys that parody well-known alcohol brands. Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc. filed a lawsuit in 2017 accusing VIP Products LLC of trademark infringement and hurting the Jack Daniel’s brand. In 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling in Jack Daniel’s favor, holding that the dog toys were “expressive works” and protected by the First Amendment. At that time, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal and sent the case back to lower courts for review. With that review resulting in the same findings as before, the court has agreed to take up the case. Brown-Forman and liquor industry trade groups claim the appeals court ruling opens the door to all kinds of parody products, and would hurt the industry’s goal of marketing its products only to adults of legal drinking age by allowing product makers to claim “humor” to escape liability. No date has been set for oral arguments before the court.

Posted by Mark at 2022-11-22 14:15:12 UTC