Redemption Whiskey Loses Legal Battle to Diageo
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Redemption Whiskey Ordered to Stop Selling Products in Current Bottles After Losing Legal Battle Against Diageo, Bulleit

Redemption Whiskey

Redemption Whiskey will be forced to stop selling its products in their current packaging after losing a legal battle against Diageo and its brand, Bulleit.

Against spirits Goliath Diageo, the David that is Redemption Whiskey wasn’t able to emerge victorious in a legal battle that spanned months.

Redemption, whose bottle design Diageo believes is unacceptably similar to that of its brand Bulleit, has been ordered to immediately halt the sale, advertising and promoting of its range in its current packaging.

In September, Diageo was granted an injunction to stop the sale of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits’ Redemption whiskey after a jury in June declined to award Diageo any of the $21 million in damages it sought but ruled that the bottle design diluted the Bulleit trademark.

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits filed a motion to suspend the injunction order, but it was denied by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit this week.

“We are disappointed by the recent decision from the Second Circuit, as we believe the Order of Injunction is not supported by the jury verdict,” Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits CEO Peter Deutsch said in a statement. “We have begun the appeals process. It’s apparent that the success and potential of Redemption Whiskey was obvious to Diageo, who felt the need to bring this lawsuit to stymie the brand.

“The verdict of the jury trial issued in June 2022 cleared Deutsch Family of allegations of trademark infringement, cleared Deutsch of acting willfully to dilute the Bulleit trademarks and awarded no monetary damages to Diageo.”

The decision means that Redemption’s latest release, Sur Lee, which launched in September, cannot be sold in its current design unless Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is successful in its appeal.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision – this order means that effective immediately Deutsch must stop marketing or selling any of the Redemption line of whiskeys in the packaging that the jury determined diluted Bulleit’s famous trade dress, including its recently launched Redemption Sur Lee product,” a Diageo spokesperson said, according to The Spirits Business. “The ruling is a victory for Diageo and our commitment to protecting our beloved brands.”

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