Irish Distillers In Trademark Dispute With U.S. Winemaker

by T+B Blog Team on March 7, 2014

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, a California-based wine producer, has entered into a trademark dispute over its brand name with Irish Distillers over claims it may affect the potency of the whiskey producers’ Jameson trademark, the Irish Independent reports.

The U.S. company, previously known as Reata Winery, filed a lawsuit in district court in reaction to a cease-and-desist letter sent last month by Irish Distillers, owned by Pernod-Ricard, to Madison Vineyard Holdings—the owner of the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards brand. In the letter, Irish Distillers argued that the two names are confusingly similar and could prompt consumers to believe that Jamieson is a product endorsed by the Dublin-based company. The Pernod subsidiary further insisted that the use of the Jamieson name could dilute its Jameson Irish Whiskey brand and urged Madison to immediately cease its use of the trademark or anything “confusingly similar.” Irish Distillers have also demanded that the U.S. winery account for all the revenue obtained from the use of the Jamieson name, present written assurance that it wouldn’t use the trademark in the future, and consent that the Irish company owns the intellectual property rights in the Jameson trademarks.

The trademark dispute between the two companies started shortly after Madison Vineyard Holdings registered the Jamieson trademark in December, which forced Irish Distillers to apply with the USPTO for a 90-day extension to allow it to oppose the registration.

The owner of Jamieson Ranch Vineyard has rejected all claims and has filed for permission from a California court to continue its use of the name. Initial disclosures are scheduled to be presented in May.

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