Diageo settled a lawsuit in North America over trademark infringement

Courtney Goldsmith
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The global drinks brand launched its Blade and Bow Kentucky Bourbon in May 2015 (Source: Getty)

Diageo North America has settled a lawsuit with a US-based bourbon whiskey distiller and distributor over trademark law violations.

Allied Lomar argued that Diageo infringed registered trademarks on the term "Stitzel" with the name of its Stitzel-Weller Bourbon distillery and brand labels including their Blade and Bow Bourbon.

Allied, which said it first registered the Stitzel trademark in 2004, took legal action against the global drinks giant in July 2015.

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The Stitzel-Weller distillery, which was founded in 1935, is a landmark in Louisville, Kentucky, but brewing stopped in 1992.

Diageo or its predecessors have owned the distillery since 1994, but no whiskey was distilled there again until Diageo launched its Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey Experience in 2014.

Diageo filed a series of trademark applications when it launched its Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in May 2015 as a tribute to the Louisville distillery.

Allied claimed some distributors refused to help it sell a Stitzel-branded liquor while Diageo sells competing spirits because the distributors don’t want to get involved until the trademark lawsuit is resolved.

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However, consumer confusion would not be likely because Allied sells no brands in the United States with the trademarked name, Diageo's legal representative argued.

Diageo and Allied Lomar agreed to drop the trademark infringement suit after the parties reached an undisclosed settlement.

"The parties have settled this case amicably on mutually accepted terms," a Diageo spokesperson said.

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