Kenyon & Kenyon LLP: A Conclusion to the High-Stakes Battle for the Red Dripping Wax Seal

Kenyon Successfully Protects Iconic Company Trademark

New York, May 9, 2012 -- Maker's Mark and Kenyon & Kenyon LLP won a high-stakes battle for the red dripping wax seal today. In a case which has been closely followed by companies and trademark practitioners, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Maker's Mark holds an "extremely strong" and enforceable trademark in the well known dripping red wax seal atop its bottles. The Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by the defendants which argued that the red dripping wax seal should not be treated as a trademark because it was so aesthetically pleasing a device. In the Court's opinion, written by Judge Boyce Martin, the Court of Appeals specifically adopted and upheld the trial court's ruling that the dripping red wax seal is "...an extremely strong mark due to its unique design and [the]singular marketing efforts" of Maker's Mark. 

The decision comes in Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc. v. Diageo North America, Inc. et al., 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, Nos. 10-5508, 10-5586, 10-5819 brought by Maker's Mark against Cuervo and its distributor, which used a dripping red wax seal on special bottles of its Jose Cuervo Reserva tequila. The Court affirmed an injunction prohibiting defendant Cuervo and its distributor from using a similar dripping red wax seal on its tequila products. 

To read the decision, click here.

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