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‘Buffalo Trace’ Bourbon Maker Fails to Block Wine’s Trade Dress

Oct. 4, 2019, 8:45 PM

The buffalo-adorned label of a “Bourbon Barrel Aged” zinfandel doesn’t infringe “Buffalo Trace” bourbon trademarks, the Ninth Circuit said, affirming a trial judge who also awarded the winemaker attorneys’ fees.

Sazerac Co., which owns dozens of liquor brands and Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace distillery, failed to show a trial judge erred in finding no likelihood of consumer confusion between the bourbon and Fetzer Vineyards Inc.'s label for its 1000 Stories wine, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said. It also affirmed a partial award of attorneys’ fees because Sazerac pushed a weak case to trial without hopes of ...