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Jack Daniel’s trademark infringement case turns nice

The lawyers at Brown-Forman Corp.’s (NYSE: BFB) Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey brand seem to have gotten one right in a recent trademark infringement claim.

When lawyers came across a Louisville author with a book cover design that looks a lot like the iconic Jack Daniel’s black label, they turned on their charm rather than turning to threats.

As Forbes reported, Patrick Wensink, author of the satirical novel “Broken Piano for President,” shared the letter from Jack Daniel’s attorney Christy Susman. On his blog, Wensink said the letter “is, perhaps, the most polite cease and desist ever written.”

It reads: “We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand, but while we appreciate the pop culture appeal of Jack Daniel’s we also have to be diligent to ensure that Jack Daniel’s trademarks are used correctly. Given the brand’s popularity, it will probably come as no surprise that that we come across designs like this on a regular basis. What may not be so apparent, however, is that if we allow uses like this one, we run the very real possibility that our trademark will be weakened. As a fan of the brand, I’m sure that is not something you intended or would want to see happen.”

The letter goes on to offer to help pay the cost of redesigning the cover when the book is reprinted.


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