Heaven Hill Settles Lawsuit With Log Still Distilling
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‘Glad to Resolve This Dispute Amicably’: Heaven Hill Settles Trademark Lawsuit With Log Still Distillery

Heaven Hill

A photo of the Heaven Hill Distillery’s sign in Bardstown, Kentucky. (Photo: AP Photo/Patti Longmire)

Heaven Hill Brands has settled its legal dispute with Log Still Distillery over the claims of trademark infringement involving Log Still’s use of the J.W. Dant name, according to a news release shared by Bourbon Lens on Thursday.

The American whiskey megabrand behind names like Elijah Craig and Larceny purchased the J.W. Dant trademark in 1993. Heaven Hill produced a budget-friendly expression, J.W. Dant Bourbon Bottled in Bond, using the Dant name.

Heaven Hill filed a lawsuit against Log Still Distillery for trademark infringement after Log Still made claims that it was “reviving the Dant legacy one barrel at a time” on its website according to The Spirits Business. Heaven Hill argued its decision to move forward with litigation was due to potential confusion over Log Still Distillery’s use of the Dant Name and intellectual property rights.

The resolution included a permanent injunction that was approved by the United States District Court on July 31. According to the injunction, both brands will maintain strong, independent identities within the spirits industry.

“Heaven Hill maintains a product portfolio of respected, historic brands with enduring legacies in the Kentucky Bourbon industry, and continuing that legacy is a priority for our business,” General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Heaven Hill Jessica Pendergrass said in the news release,  “This resolution underscores our commitment to protecting our intellectual property and brand equity. This is a collegial industry built on strong relationships. We value Log Still as a partner in the distilling industry, and wish them continued success in their distilling ventures.”

Heaven Hill Brands will continue maintaining exclusivity over its production of J.W. Dant spirits.

Wally Dant, the founder of Log Still and a descendant of J.W. Dant, cited collaboration as one of the most important and unique parts of working in the bourbon industry.

“We are glad to resolve this dispute amicably and can now focus more time on developing our distinctive line of products and services. Making memories with family and friends is what our campus is all about,” Wally Dant stated in the release, “Sharing a good bourbon among friends is simply the result of this resolution. We appreciate the efforts Heaven Hill has made as a fellow family-owned presence in this collective spirits industry and we wish them the best in their endeavors.”

JW Dant: A Big Name in the Bourbon History Books

According to Distillery Trail, Dant was a well-known figure in the bourbon world in the 19th Century. He built a commercial distillery in Dant, Kentucky which would later become the Dant Distillery Company Inc.

J.W. Dant built his own distilling empire which involved his seven sons running the family business. Eventually, J.B. Dant, J.W. Dant’s son, created his own distillery — Yellowstone Whiskey.

The Dant family operations continued through Prohibition and sold whiskey for medicinal purposes. Ultimately the Dants decided to sell their companies and leave the bourbon world behind.

In 2020, Log Still Distillery was founded by Wally Dant in an effort to resurrect the family business, according to the Courier Journal.

After years of litigation with Heaven Hill, it seems like both bourbon producers have resolved things amicably.

Log Still Distillery’s website currently reads, “Log Still Distillery neither owns nor has any affiliation with ‘J.W. Dant’ distilled spirits.”

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Cynthia Mersten is a writer/editor for Whiskey Raiders and has worked in the Beverage Industry for eight years. She started her career in wine and spirits distribution and sold brands like Four Roses, High West and Compass Box to a variety of bars and restaurants in the city she calls home: Los Angeles. Cynthia is a lover of all things related to wine, spirits and story and holds a BA from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television. Besides writing, her favorite pastimes are photography and watching movies with her husband.