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Diageo hits Sazerac with Bulleit, Dr McGillicuddy's lawsuit

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Diageo has confirmed to just-drinks that it has filed a "trade dress" lawsuit in the US against Sazerac regarding alleged similarities between its Bulleit and the US company's Dr McGillicuddy's brands.

Diageo alleges that Sazerac has copied the packaging of Bulleit for the Dr McGillicuddys liqueurs and whiskies range

Diageo alleges that Sazerac has copied the packaging of Bulleit for the Dr McGillicuddy's liqueurs and whiskies range

A report by World Intellectual Property Review today says Diageo accuses Sazerac of having "committed wilful acts of trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement and dilution". The filing, issued last week to the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, claims that the packaging for Sazerac's Dr McGillicuddy's range of flavoured liqueurs and whiskies has been updated "in order to knock-off the appearance and unfairly trade on the reputation of Diageo's … Bulleit brand Bourbon and rye whiskey".

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Diageo's North America divisions said: "Sazerac's infringing use of our Bulleit trade dress left us no choice but to sue to protect our legendary brand and marks."

A Sazerac spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

Earlier this month, Sazerac appointed a former US Government lobbyist with Diageo as its new VP for government relations in Washington.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Sazerac Co

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