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Tiny Whiskey Company Wild Geese Goes To Battle With Liquor Giant Bacardi Over Trademark Law

Tiny Whiskey Company Wild Geese Goes To Battle With Liquor Giant Bacardi Over Trademark Law
By Buzzfeed Business

Chances are only the most fervent of whiskey drinkers has heard of The Wild Geese Company. At least that appears to be the bet spirits Goliath Barcardi was making when it recently launched a new “untameable” advertising campaign that the much smaller boutique distillery claims infringes on its trademark rights, Buzzfeed reported.

Wild Geese holds the trademark to the “untamed” slogan, and, in a recently filed complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, claimed Barcardi’s new campaign too closely resembles its own and violates its intellectual property. Though trademark fights are common in the spirits, beverage, and other industries, Wild Geese is taking its dispute with Bacardi to another level. Andre Levy, the chairman of parent company, Avalon Group, has been meeting with congressional staffers and has hired a lobbying firm to push for a change to the laws dictating U.S. intellectual property litigation. Namely, Levy is sick of “the little guys” having to back down in lawsuits with major brand competitors that have infinitely more resources to throw at a lawsuit and wants to level the playing field.

A representative for Bacardi declined comment for this story.

“It’s a dangerous precedent Bacardi is trying to set by using a name and trying to have people associate it with their product,” Levy said. “The problem that presents to entrepreneurs is it really creates a wild West scenario with intellectual property. Because they’re better known, they’re saying there will be no confusion between the two trademarks.”

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Avalon Group Launches Campaign Against Bacardi over ‘Untamed’ Trademark

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GLOBAL: Avalon Group Launches Campaign Against Bacardi over ‘Untamed’ Trademark

Avalon Group, the makers of Wild Geese Irish whiskey, has launched an online campaign over claims that Bacardi‘s latest global advertising campaign is too similar to the marketing for its own brands.

Bacardi launched its campaign ‘Bacardi Untameable’ for its namesake rum brand in November last year. However, British Virgin Islands-based Avalon, claims that it has had the trademark ‘Untamed’ registered around the world since 2011.

Avalon says it has used the term “Untamed” to market its full portfolio – including Untamed Revolutionary Rum, Untamed Vodka and The Exiles Gin – since 2009.

Avalon has launched a website – Bacardi-Controversial – flagging up its concerns, including a Facebook page and Twitter hashtag. The company has also taken the issue up with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Speaking to just-drinks today (14 April), Andre Levy, chairman of Protege International, which handles the marketing of Avalon’s brands, said: “They (Bacardi) knew about us and set out to emulate what we’ve done.

“We decided to take a different approach to show this is what Bacardi are doing.”

Levy said his company has challenged Bacardi’s trademark applications “where we’ve found them”. He added: “We will ultimately end up in litigation.”

When contacted by just-drinks today, a Bacardi spokesperson declined to comment.

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Diageo Sues For ‘Copy Cat’ Branding

Diageo Sues For ‘Copy Cat’ Branding

Diageo recently filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada against Heaven Hill Distilleries for copying their Captain Morgan brand.

The lawsuit claims that  Heaven Hill Distilleries’ Admiral Nelson’s rum “infringes” on and “dilutes” the Captain Morgan rum trademark, according to

In a statement, Diageo North America accuses Heaven Hill of “blatantly confusing trade dress”,

The lawsuit comes just days after Diageo was sued by the Explorers Club for allegedly stealing its trademark and using it for its Explorers’ Club whisky range.

For more information, read the full article, here.