The 6th Circuit ruled yesterday that the red dripping-wax seal that has appeared on bottles of Maker’s Mark bourbon since 1958 is an “extremely strong” trademark that deserves protection.
In Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc. v. Diageo North America Inc. et al, Loretto, Ky.-based Maker’s Mark sued Mexico-based Casa Cuervo and its U.S. distributor. The bourbon maker claimed that a dripping-wax seal that Cuervo used on the bottles of one of its tequilas infringed on Maker’s Mark’s 1985 seal trademark. A district judge ruled in April 2010 that Cuervo’s drippy-styled seal did infringe, and it forbade the company from using it. Yesterday, the 6th Circuit upheld that ruling.