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SCOTUS hears trademark suit between Jack Daniels and dog toy company that parodies their brand

One chew toy takes the shape of a liquor bottle and bears the logo "Bad Spaniels," using a similar typeface and logo design to Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey.

Published: March 22, 2023 3:24pm

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in a trademark dispute between alcohol maker Jack Daniels and VIP Products, which makes chew toys for dogs that parody the distiller's brand.

One chew toy takes the shape of a liquor bottle and bears the logo "Bad Spaniels," using a similar typeface and logo design to Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, The Hill reported.

Other products included obvious parodies of other liquor and soft drink brands, such as "Dos Perros" (Dos Equis), "Mountain Drool" (Mountain Dew), and "Doggie Walker" (Johnny Walker).

Jack Daniels, during arguments had argued that a substantial portion of its customers were likely to be confused by the parody brand's products and potentially infer an association between the companies.

VIP Products, meanwhile, has argued that its parodies pass the "Rogers Test," a legal threshold the country's highest court has not previously endorsed. The Rogers test balances creative freedom and trademark concerns.

A ruling is expected in June, per The Hill.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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