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Wine names, lawsuits, and being silly

wine name lawsuitsLast week’s post about the Cristal lawsuit that forced Cristalino to change its label because of so-called confusion over the latter’s name was hugely popular, and the Wine Curmudgeon is always happy to give his visitors more of what they want. So I called my old pal, the well-known trademark and trade dress attorney, A.M.B. Chaser, to ask her what else might be on the wine name litigation front.

“Frankly, Jeff,” she said, “I’m jealous of the attorneys who worked the Cristalino case for Cristal. Talk about genius. To say nothing of the fees they generated from something as simple as that.”

After the jump, Chaser’s analysis of potential lawsuits:

“I want to emphasize that I’m just speculating here,” she said. “I don’t know that any of these situations are being considered for an action, but I see potential — lots of $400 an hour potential.”

• The cake controversy. “What about Layer Cake suing Cakebread?” she asked. “Or other way around? Or maybe Little Debbie could sue both of them.”

• Rex Goliath vs. Davey and Goliath. “This could be a no brainer,” she said. “Rex Goliath has already been in legal trouble for its ‘pornographic label,’ and Davey and Goliath represent God.”

• The folk singer Donovan. “Sometimes,” said Chaser, “I even surprise myself with my genius. Donovan wrote a song, Mellow Yellow. Been a radio standard for 45 years. And what does wine do? Makes you mellow. I’ll bet he could sue those wines with yellow in the title and claim they stole their product from his song.”

• The Recording Industry Association of America, which seems to sue everyone. “If the RIAA is suing people who listen to music,” said Chaser, “why can’t they sue people who listen to music while they drink wine?”

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