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Diageo Claims Victory In Bulleit vs Redemption Trademark Case, But Deutsch Will Appeal

September 9, 2022

Diageo-owned Bulleit claimed a win in its trademark case against Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits’ Redemption whiskey brand on Wednesday in federal court in New York. Judge Louis Stanton ruled that Deutsch must redesign Redemption’s bottle so that it conveys “a substantially different commercial impression.” Deutsch tells SND it believes the judge’s injunction isn’t supported by the jury verdict in the case from earlier this summer and that it will appeal the ruling. In June, a jury found that Redemption’s bottle dilutes Bulleit’s trade dress, but found no likelihood of consumer confusion between the two and declined to award monetary damages.

According to this week’s injunction, Deutsch must stop selling Redemption in its current bottle, “except for the product that on the date of entry of this Order has already been transferred to distributors, retail stores, bars, or restaurants. That product in the Redemption packaging that has been transferred by the date of entry of this Order may continue to be sold, but none thereafter.”

Deutsch Family CEO Peter Deutsch noted that distributors and retailers may continue to sell all their current Redemption inventory and told SND the company plans to appeal the ruling. “The jury verdict issued in June 2022 supported the fact that Redemption is a special brand that consumers view as differentiated from Bulleit,” Deutsch said. “We believe the injunction that was issued is not supported by the jury verdict and have already filed a motion to stay the injunction order pending the outcome of our appeal.” Bulleit’s U.S. volume registered approximately 1.53 million cases in 2021, according to Impact Databank, while Redemption was at roughly 120,000 cases in the 12 months through March.—Daniel Marsteller

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