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Diageo sues Heaven Hill over trademark infringement

DBR Staff Writer Published 31 March 2014

British drinks major Diageo is suing Heaven Hill, an American distilled spirits producer, over trademark infringement.

Captain Morgan

The company has filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada claiming that the packaging for Heaven Hill's Admiral Nelson's Spiced Rum's trademark is similar to its own Captain Morgan rum.

Diageo claims that the packaging is clearly intended to mimic that of Captain Morgan in order to trade upon the brand's goodwill and create consumer confusion.

Diageo Canada Marketing vice president Iain Chalmers said that Diageo appreciates healthy competition, as continued innovation maintains consumer excitement and benefits the entire industry.

"However, we are strongly opposed to competitors copycatting the label design and character trademark of established brands like Captain Morgan. We will fight these infringements wherever we can," added Chalmers.

Heaven Hill had acquired the global rights to the 35% abv Admiral Nelson's brand from Luxo in 2011, reports just drinks.

Image : Diageo's Captain Morgan rum. Photo : courtesy of Diageo