Jack Daniel's Sues Dog Toy Company For Copyright Infringement
Do you support Jack Daniel's claims?
What's the story?
- The famous Tennessee whiskey company, Jack Daniel's, is trying to halt the production and marketing of a chewy dog toy called Bad Spaniels, which is decorated like one of its bottles.
- The bottle is part of a parodical line of dog toys called Silly Squeakers, manufactured by VIP products, the second-largest dog toy manufacturer in the U.S.
- The toy features a spaniel and a play on 40% alcohol by volume: "43% poo by volume, 100% smelly." VIP's owner, Stephen Sacra, said he was inspired by a Jack Daniel's sign he saw in a bar. This specific toy is one of their best-selling products.
- The lawsuit from Jack Daniel's claims that Bad Spaniels infringes on its trademark, confuses consumers, and tarnishes its reputation. Their legal team said:
"Jack Daniel's loves dogs and appreciates a good joke as much as anyone. But Jack Daniel's likes its customers even more, and doesn't want them confused or associating its fine whiskey with dog poop."
"[G]iving businesses a free pass to capitalize on hard-earned trademarks...would deeply destabilize an economic system that is rightly the envy of the world."
- In response, VIP's brief said:
"Freedom of speech begins with freedom to mock."
- VIP's lawyer Bennett Evan Cooper said Jack Daniel's missed the point:
"There is no bottle of dog food being sold. It's a pretend trademark on a pretend label for a pretend bottle full of pretend content. The entire thing is a parody."
Do you support Jack Daniel's lawsuit? Which side are you on?
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Any person who can't distinguish between a dog toy and a bottle of whiskey probably shouldn't be drinking anyways.
I can handle a good joke, but it's in poor taste to equate the very recognizable Jack Daniel's packaging and a similar name with dog poo, and I think that gives Jack Daniel's a good claim here. If this were just a non-scented chew toy or it smelled like whiskey or something else, I think it would be completely fine. But equating their brand likeness with poo is very detrimental to the brand.
I hope the Supreme Court sides with "good taste" and awards Jack Daniel's on this one.
I care not at all,
but I believe this could be construed as satire, and satire is protected.
How are you?
Listen, the last thing the industry wants are customers so dumb they will get easily confused and start associating decent whiskey with dog poop. It's not a good look for any of us.
Take the high road. Let your customers know you have faith in them. Tell them that they have discriminating tastes.
Chivas and I have. Look at my line of Labeled Scotches. Chivas charges more by age.
You don't want the riff-raff, or are you actually cultivating the deplorables? If so, you should just buy out the toy company and sell the poop yourself.
Anyway, check out what this company is doing. See the attachment.
By the way, Trump is still "signing" bottles of "26 Year Old" Glendronach Scotch. LOL! What a Con Artist!
Best, as always, your dear friend,
Yes, assuming Jack Daniels holds some sort of copyright on their bottle and label design. They should be compensated if a company wants to use the same essential design for a toy. I understand that there are sometimes parody exceptions in cases like these, and, of course, it's not as though J.D. stands to lose money from people buying dog toys instead of whiskey. But ultimately, assuming they own the rights, the toy manufacturer should be licensing them.
I would disagree if J.D. ultimately made them stop producing the toy. But they should be getting some small percentage of the profits, I would think.
It's just a freakin' squakey dog toy. Maybe the owners of Jack Daniels needs a time out in the conrer. They are acting like a 4 year old child, treat them that way!
Who cares? We have REAL problems to solve. Shelve the nonsense.
It's a dog toy, for God's sake! Not even a CHILD'S toy! It's not like it's a rival liquor.
Uh heck no! Utterly ridicoulous! If you are too stupid to know it's a dog toy...oh wait...you must be a MAGAT! 😂😂
It's a dog's chew toy. I'm not going to associate Jack Daniel's with a dog's chew toy that mentions poo on the label. I won't confuse them either, unless JD starts putting dogs on the label.
Against dog toys? Really? Though they should be paid...
This kind of garbage happens way too often. Of course the issue is silly and no threat to Jack Daniels. However the law requires Jack Daniels to defend it's trade mark or it will loose the rights to it. So Jack Daniels ends up in the unenviable position to have little choice. Perhaps the law could be changed so this wouldn't be required.
Trademasrks are important. How about a soda in a can looking like Coca Cola. All voting "no" do not understand that protection is for their benefit
Trademarks are important. How about building dog toys that look like Coca-cola or trojan condom without permission.
I just goggled Silly Squeakers to see what they were about and got to say they are really funny. Everything in the line is a parody, I don't think Jack Daniels has a case.