Here’s another case of cocktails and intellectual property colliding. This time it’s Diageo’s Pimm’s product versus a chain store knock-off called Pitchers. Click through to see the two labels; Pitchers is clearly building off of Pimm’s image. I don’t know what the legal ramifications of this would be in the UK.
More interestingly, part of Diageo’s claim has to do with the use to which the products are put. Specifically, Diageo doesn’t like the fact that Pitchers boasts that it mixes well with lemonade and fruit, a traditional pairing for Pimm’s often ordered by customers as a Pimm’s Cup. Pitchers also boasts that it outperforms Pimm’s in taste tests.
This is strikingly similar to the Dark and Stormy controversy. Diageo might have a legitimate claim that the bottle design dilutes their brand, but it’s hard to imagine any public good coming from forbidding competitors to tout their superiority in a popular mixed drink.
(For more on the American law regarding trademarks and cocktails, be sure to check this guest post at The Scofflaw’s Den by practicing attorney Chris Leger.)