Pernod Ricard has won a court ruling to protect the image of its Malibu flavoured rum brand, including its signature opaque white bottle, in the US.

A US District Court judge ruled that White Rock Distilleries infringed upon Malibu's trademark rights with its own line of fruit-flavoured rums, Pernod said yesterday (24 February).

Pernod Ricard USA filed a lawsuit in March 2009, alleging that White Rock breached copyright on Malibu via its marketing of Barbarossa, Baroca and Jack flavoured rums in opaque white bottles.

"The white bottle is the signature design element of the Malibu® trade dress, and we will be very aggressive in protecting it," said Thomas Lalla, senior vice president and general counsel at Pernod Ricard USA.

White Rock has agreed not to produce, market or sell any distilled spirit "in a white bottle or in any bottle using a palm tree and sun design that is substantially similar to the Malibu palm tree and sun logo," said Pernod.

White Rock must also pay Pernod's legal fees from the dispute, said the judge at the court for Southern District of New York.