Jack Daniels Properties Inc., is to sue a US company for trademark infringement claiming the company led investors to think that its proposed bottled spring water was affiliated or approved by Jack Daniels Properties Inc (JDPI), owners of the Jack Daniels trademark.

In a statement JDPI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown-Forman, announced that it has filed a suit against California-based company Aubryn International Inc, R.Bruce Harris, Gorman Properties, LLC and Jack E. Daniels for infringing its Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey trademark.

JDPI claims that on 16 May 2001, Aubryn International issued a news release entitled "Aubryn International Signs Letter of Intent with Jack Daniels" and subtitled "Company Enters Into High Profitable Business Line" in which it announced that Aubryn had signed a letter of intent with Jack Daniels, a principal in Gorman LLC and Cal West Enterprises, Inc.

In its lawsuit, JDPI alleges that Aubryn International, Gorman Properties, Harris and Daniels signed their contractual agreement and issued news releases for the purpose of trading on the goodwill in the Jack Daniel's trademark. The suit also alleges that these actions were taken to falsely suggest that the defendants commercial activities and forthcoming "Jack Daniel's" bottled spring water were affiliated with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey.

JDPI is seeking an injunction, which among other things would forbid the defendants from using the name "Jack Daniels" or any imitation of the Jack Daniel's trademark in connection with their business.

Commenting JDPI said: "Neither JDPI nor Brown-Forman Corporation has a relationship with any of the defendants."