Some stories are so interesting that you start thinking how a movie based on them would look like. Well, seldom do such feelings arise out of legal proceedings. However, a recent judgement could very confidently be described as an exception.
The story is of J. W. Dant. Dant used to distill bourbon in his own unique way. He later started selling ‘J. W. Dant- branded bourbon whiskey’. Two related trademarks were also registered. These trademarks, after exchanging a number of hands, finally reached another distillery, Heaven Hills. Heaven Hills, bought the J. W. Dant brand. It is also the complainant in our case.
The respondent is Log Still. It is a new distillery, started by the successors of J. W. Dant. However, when they failed to get the rights of J. W. Dant from Heaven Hills, they started using the trademark anyway. One of Log Still’s crests showed the establishment year of 1836, which is impossible considering Log Still was founded in 2018. Log Still wanted to market itself as the successor and revivalist of the J. W. Dant name. At one point of time, even the domain name JWDant.com redirected to LogStillDistillery.com.
The court found out that it wasn’t so that the respondent was using the name because he is a member of the family. But instead, for benefitting from the goodwill of the existing name. The court decided in favor of the Complainant. The court ordered the respondent to stop using the J. W. Dant brand and the domain name JWDant.com. The Court also demanded Log Still to take some steps that distinguish it from its J. W. Dant brand.
Read the full case, here.