Jack Daniel's Loses Trademark Suit to Scottish Comedy Stars
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‘Common Sense Has Prevailed’: Jack Daniel’s Loses Whiskey Trademark Lawsuit Against Comedy Duo

Jack Daniels

Bottles of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. The brand lost a trademark dispute against Still Game Whisky. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Jack Daniel’s lost a trademark suit filed against two comedians who named their scotch whisky brand Jack & Victor after two characters in a BBC Scotland sitcom “Still Game.” The American distillery has been ordered to pay funds equivalent to the tune of $3,958 for the costs of the hearing, the Glasgow Times reported Thursday.

Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan launched their whisky label, Jack & Victor, in 2021. The whisky was named after the two characters they played in the sitcom that ran for nine seasons and was the most-watched show in Scotland, according to BBC.

UK Intellectual Property Office ruled in favor of the trademark and said the application could proceed to registration. The Tennessee whiskey brand owned by Brown-Forman had trademarked the terms “Jack” and “Gentleman Jack” in the UK and felt differently.

Jack Daniel’s argued the label “Jack & Victor” could dupe customers into thinking it was endorsed by the brand and would ride on the coattails of Jack Daniel’s reputation.

“There will be no misrepresentation. The differences between ‘Jack & Victor’ and ‘Jack Daniels’ are too great for the relevant public to believe that the contested goods are those of the opponent, despite the strong reputation of the earlier sign, even for identical goods,” comptroller-general Heather Harrison wrote in a ruling, according to the Glasgow Times.

The Jack Daniel’s legal team has had a busy year, with another trademark battle between Jack Daniels and VIP Products over a dog toy that was heard by the Supreme Court in March, according to the New York Times.

The parody dog toy was a replica of Jack Daniel’s signature square-shaped whiskey bottle, and labeled “Bad Spaniel’s Old No. 2.” The brand argued the toy could potentially damage its reputation with its “juvenile bathroom humour,” as the toy reads, “40% Poo by Vol” and “100% Smelly.” A verdict is projected to be reached in June.

Whiskey Raiders has reached out to Brown-Forman for comment regarding the outcome of the lawsuit. Hemphill, who plays Victor McDade in the sitcom, had the following statement:

“We are pleased with this ruling and that common sense has prevailed.”

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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.