AYKROYD’S CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA LITIGATING AGAIN
Steven T. Lowe
On July 8, 2019, Dan Aykroyd’s company, Globefill Inc. (“Globefill”), has filed another lawsuit against a liquor company for infringing the Crystal Head trademark.
Globefill filed the lawsuit against a Mexican tequila maker, Matatena Spirits S.A. de C.V. (“Matatena”), alleging that it knocked off the Crystal Head iconic head-shaped bottle.
In the complaint, Globefill claims Matatena had applied for, and eventually received, a trademark registration for its own skull-like, see-through spirits container. But a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office attorney who examined Matatena’s application had cautioned that “confusion is likely” between the two products.
Globefill claimed in the lawsuit that it is the first company “throughout the history of the alcoholic beverage industry” to use a clear, head-shaped bottle to package its product. However, the company said it “has been forced to spend an enormous amount of time and energy litigating against infringers” since the introduction of Crystal Head in 2008.
“The litigation was, and is, necessary to defend Globefill’s right to have the alcoholic beverage market in the state it was when Globefill took the risk to enter it with its unique (and expensive to produce) product packaging,” the company said.
In a previous case, Globefill filed suit in 2010, alleging that Element Spirit, Inc. was infringing its bottle trademark with the bottles for KAH Tequila. A jury initially ruled against Globefill, only to have the jury’s decision overturned by the Ninth Circuit in February 2016. The next month, Globefill scored a win in its second jury trial, obtaining an award of $870,000 against KAH Tequila, plus an injunction.
Globefill is represented by Leif R. Sigmond Jr., Kiley C. Keefe and John H. Weber of BakerHostetler.
Counsel information for Stoller and Matatena was not immediately available at the time this article was written.
The case is Globefill Incorporated v. Stoller Imports Inc. et al., case number 1:19-cv-04593, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
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