“To be sure, everyone likes a good joke. But VIP’s profit-motivated ‘joke’ confuses consumers by taking advantage of Jack Daniel’s hard-earned goodwill,” she wrote for the Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman Corp., Jack Daniel’s parent company. Blatt wrote that a lower court decision provides “near-blanket protection” to humorous trademark infringement.
The toy is part of a line of VIP Products called Silly Squeakers that mimic liquor, beer, wine and soda bottles. They include Mountain Drool, which parodies Mountain Dew, and Heini Sniff'n, which parodies Heineken. A court in 2008 barred the company from selling its Budweiser parody, ButtWiper.
The case won't be argued until early 2023 with a decision expected before the court leaves for its summer recess.
The case is Jack Daniel's Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC, 22-148.