The company producing a new brand of whiskey inspired by Bob Dylan’s 1973 hit song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” could soon be knocking on the courthouse door. Heaven Hill, a whiskey brand established since 1937, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the new brand name and logo for Heaven’s Door whiskey is substantially similar to Heaven Hill’s products and could confuse alcohol consumers in Colorado and elsewhere.
In addition to filing the trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court, Heaven Hill had also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Heaven’s Door Spirits, LLC, instructing the company to stop its use of the name and logo. A representative from Heaven’s Door said the company disputed the likelihood of consumer confusion and intended to defend its Heaven’s Door brand in court.
Heaven’s Door released three whiskey brands this year consisting of a straight bourbon whiskey, double barrel whiskey and straight rye whiskey. Heaven Hill has not issued a statement about the pending litigation beyond what was stated in public court filings.
Companies that want to defend the value of their trademarks and other intellectual property sometimes seek guidance from attorneys. A person confronted with the need to defend against a claim of trademark infringement or assert rights against an infringing party may be able to develop a strategy based on an attorney’s legal insights. An attorney might review documentation that establishes rights to intellectual property and communicate this information to an opposing party. At times, private negotiations or arbitration might resolve the dispute and result in a settlement or licensing agreement. When a case needs to go to court, an attorney may prepare the court filings and manage the trial.
Source: Courier Journal, “Heaven Hill sues Bob Dylan’s whiskey brand for trademark infringement“, Thomas Novelly, Aug. 21, 2018