UK: Diageo, Intercontinental Brands settle Vodkat dispute
Following Diageo's legal win, get ready to say goodbye to Vodkat
The UK arm of Diageo and Intercontinental Brands have agreed a final settlement over the latter's Vodkat RTD brand.
The two companies announced separately earlier today (15 December) that Intercontinental Brands (ICB) has agreed to change the brand name and packaging of Vodkat. Diageo Great Britain took ICB to task back in 2008 over the brand, arguing that it was passing Vodkat off as vodka, in "breach of (European Union) regulations on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks".
Litigation continued throughout this year, however, concluding in today's announcement, along with confirmation that ICB will pay Diageo GB a “substantial” - but unspecified - sum in damages and legal costs.
“We are pleased ... that ICB has recognised that the use of the name Vodkat (or indeed any 'vod'-prefixed brand name) on a product that is not vodka is likely to confuse consumers,” said Diageo GB's managing director, Simon Litherland.
A spokesperson for ICB told just-drinks that the company will look to launch a new product early next year, and that “31 January is the last day that ICB can ship stock out to wholesalers and retailers", who can continue to sell the brand until their stocks run out.
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