Author Topic: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys  (Read 2807 times)

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Offline koduck

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Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« on: November 24, 2022, 08:10:38 AM »
Here's an important Supreme Court case every fan of Wacky Packages and parody law should pay close attention to:

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/22/supreme-court-to-hear-jack-daniels-trademark-case-against-dog-toy-company.html?qsearchterm=jack%20daniels%20supreme

Offline quas

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2022, 09:04:41 AM »
Wow, are we back in 1967 again with Ratz and Cracked Animals?!
Marc

Offline koduck

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2022, 10:38:39 AM »
Kind of seems that way! What's really interesting is that "Bad Spaniels" even cites Wacky Packages as an example of current use of parody law.

Offline Joe G.

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2022, 12:30:40 PM »
Neil, I am surprised this is still an issue with so much precedent supporting the fair use of IP in parody situations.  We can all remember the huge controversy over ‘Superduper-Man’ that almost derailed the early Mad comics in the 1950s. This is all settled law now and I’m sure we parody artists have nothing to fear, except fear itself, naturally.

Offline koduck

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2022, 05:26:22 PM »
Yeah, hopefully reason prevails. But as in so many things, money seems to talk loudest, and these companies have a lot of it! Keep your fingers crossed!

Offline sco(o)t

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2022, 08:11:45 PM »
Neil, I am surprised this is still an issue with so much precedent supporting the fair use of IP in parody situations.  We can all remember the huge controversy over ‘Superduper-Man’ that almost derailed the early Mad comics in the 1950s. This is all settled law now and I’m sure we parody artists have nothing to fear, except fear itself, naturally.

Unfortunately, the current Supreme Court doesn’t seem that concerned with precedence and established law. I’m a little concerned.
aka Scot Leibacher (no trademark)

Offline Joe G.

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2022, 09:08:05 PM »
Scot in looking over the details of the case I don’t think it’s questioning whether parody is permissible  I think it’s whether or not the dog toy is parody or is simply trying to profit off of someone’s else’s IP.  I don’t think Wackys or any other artistic expression will be affected in any way by the decision.  Also in the article it says “In 2008, VIP Products lost a similar case brought by Budweiser-maker Anheuser-Busch, who sued the company over a toy labeled “ButtWiper.” and that didn’t affect Wackys at all so I think all is good.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2022, 12:16:35 AM by Joe G. »

Offline bandaches

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2022, 06:18:30 AM »
Scot in looking over the details of the case I don’t think it’s questioning whether parody is permissible  I think it’s whether or not the dog toy is parody or is simply trying to profit off of someone’s else’s IP.  I don’t think Wackys or any other artistic expression will be affected in any way by the decision.  Also in the article it says “In 2008, VIP Products lost a similar case brought by Budweiser-maker Anheuser-Busch, who sued the company over a toy labeled “ButtWiper.” and that didn’t affect Wackys at all so I think all is good.
Agree, I think this is a non issue for wacky packages.
Contact me at bandaches@yahoo.com as I have tons of wackys for sale!  Visit my website http://www.wackypackage.com/

Offline sco(o)t

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2023, 12:37:35 PM »
Scot in looking over the details of the case I don’t think it’s questioning whether parody is permissible  I think it’s whether or not the dog toy is parody or is simply trying to profit off of someone’s else’s IP.  I don’t think Wackys or any other artistic expression will be affected in any way by the decision.  Also in the article it says “In 2008, VIP Products lost a similar case brought by Budweiser-maker Anheuser-Busch, who sued the company over a toy labeled “ButtWiper.” and that didn’t affect Wackys at all so I think all is good.

Joe, I would be interested in hearing more about your thoughts, or anyone's, on the distinction here.  Is it because the packaging for WPs didn't parrallel the shape, size, appearance of an actual product?  I can't see anyone going into a Pet Shop and confusing Bad Spaniels with Jack Daniels and purchasing by accident. Unless they already had way too much Jack Daniels. I guess I don't understand the legal nit that is being picked in this case. As for Budweiser, they should be sued by the canines of the world for having a product that tastes too much like dog p*ss.  :]   
aka Scot Leibacher (no trademark)

Offline koduck

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2023, 05:28:29 AM »
As for Budweiser, they should be sued by the canines of the world for having a product that tastes too much like dog p*ss.  :]

LOL! Just saw this!

Watching this case with great interest!

Offline JailOJohn

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2023, 09:13:12 AM »
I saw a sizable story about this on the tv news…it seems like there is very little likelihood of confusing consumers that the dog toy is associated with the whiskey, so i am not sure why this is such a big deal. Maybe them Kentucky folks just cant take a joke.

Offline drono

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2023, 10:14:05 AM »
Maybe them Kentucky folks just cant take a joke.

Maybe they're dog lovers and don't want any confusion/association with giving alcohol to dogs.

What amazes me is doll house sized whiskey bottles. When my daughter still played with dolls, I don't think I ever would have given her whiskey bottles for her doll house.

Offline lcummins

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2023, 02:02:56 PM »
…Maybe them Kentucky folks just cant take a joke.

Jack Daniels is made in Tennessee… us Kentuckians are known for our Bourbon!  :]

Offline lcummins

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2023, 02:17:58 PM »
The Supreme Court just ruled in favor of Jack Daniels and said they can continue their lawsuit.

Offline koduck

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2023, 05:59:17 AM »
The Supreme Court just ruled in favor of Jack Daniels and said they can continue their lawsuit.

I'm not surprised at all by this decision. It'll probably drag on for a while but let's hope this case eventually has a happy ending...

Offline g.u.e.s.t.

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2023, 10:14:50 AM »
Jack Daniel’s is arguing VIP Products is in violation of federal trademark law and could be confusing shoppers...

This is laughable. To claim copyright infringement is one thing, but to think shoppers could confuse the two products is completely ridiculous. Unless of course they've consumed too much of one of them.

Offline vahsurfer

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2023, 10:17:38 AM »
Guest I believe you are correct.

My fears like many others is an eventual ruling could be overly broad and overreach past common sense.
Next thing you know comedians will not longer be able to say anything.......

Richard
#StayWacky

Offline koduck

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2023, 03:58:19 PM »
My fears like many others is an eventual ruling could be overly broad and overreach past common sense.

Richard
#StayWacky

This is the problem I anticipated when I first posted about this. Lately, our judicial system doesn't seem to care about common sense laws when it comes to big business.

Offline Swiski

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2023, 09:30:51 AM »
The same company that made the Jack Daniels parody dog toy, produced other product parody dog toys. Wonder if there will be more law suits happening.

Offline JailOJohn

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2023, 07:47:50 AM »
I fail to see the risk of confusion or economic harm to Jack Daniels, which I thought were the legal standards. Maybe the spoof will prevail at trial. I think oftentimes, the threat of the lawsuit and its outcome is what the big companies use to get their way. It really does make you wonder why more companies didn't try to sue Topps over Wacky Packages. I guess by coming out with a new series every couple of months, they mostly stayed one step ahead of the lawyers.

Offline g.u.e.s.t.

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2023, 05:15:10 PM »
Guest I believe you are correct.

My fears like many others is an eventual ruling could be overly broad and overreach past common sense.
Next thing you know comedians will not longer be able to say anything.......

Richard
#StayWacky

We're already there. Sadly, common sense isn't so common anymore.

Daryl

Offline JasonLiebig

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Re: Jack Daniels vs Bad Spaniels Dog Toys
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2023, 10:13:55 AM »
As an (admittedly amateur) student of Trademark law and parody law, this was a fascinating case.

And it largely comes down to how this dog toy was marketed.  Which is to say, the Supreme Court is not giving it a pass because the dog toy is selling itself wholly as a product meant to look like the trademark holder's product. 

So, the thing to keep in mind here based on my reading of the actual decision and my understanding of the trademark law protections:  The SC wouldn't have sided on the side of Jack Daniels, had this "Bad Spaniels" dog toy been in a colorful box of other novelty toys.  Because in that hypothetical case, its "identifying trademark" would have been the box/branding that the toy was found in, rather than the bottle shape and label design. 

Even though I couldn't find a "Bad Spaniels" trademark filed with the USPTO, the Supreme Court is granting that its identifying trademark IS the bottle shape and label design, because there is no other branding involved and no other that VIP (the dog toy company) can possibly claim. 

With Wacky Packages, this is simply not the case.  There are many layers of diffusion involved before a Wacky might face a similar issue. 

But where this case COULD affect Wacky's might be in the physical product novelty space.  So, a 3-dimentional parody sold individually in the shape and form of the trademarked product, COULD face similar issues.  At least a trademark case wouldn't be summarily dismissed.

But things like t-shirts, Wacky Packages themselves, and so on, seem quite safe, even in the wake of this decision. 

Had this dog toy been packaged in a neon green box with an inset photo of the dog toy, it may well have found itself insulated from this complaint.  But as it only offered up what it was, with its only trademarks being those that mimicked or parodied those of Jack Daniels, the court decided that JD had a legit trademark dispute. 

« Last Edit: June 24, 2023, 10:18:02 AM by JasonLiebig »
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