Fireball is Hot! Sazarac Sues ‘Un-Cool’ Copy Cat
Popular Cinnamon Whiskey Files Suit to Protect Trademark
Flattery comes in strange ways, but imitation has legal limits.
Sazerac Inc., the makers of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey have filed a lawsuit against the makers of SinFire Cinnamon Whiskey pointing to violations of their trademarks on the product that has become a ‘hot’ item in bars across America.
Fireball Whiskey has quickly received the attention of consumers with a cinnamon spiced whiskey that they say ‘Taste’s Like Heaven but Burns Like Hell‘®, and it appears Hood River Distillers‘ SinFire, is trying to mimic Fireball and it’s distinctive packaging in hopes of sales.
Sazerac, based in New Orleans, produces and bottles Fireball in a flat front bottle that uses a color scheme of red, black and orange and features a red fire-breathing demon with a serpent-like tongue spitting a ball of fire. SinFire also uses a similar flat front bottle, also uses the same three red, black and orange color scheme and has a ‘serpent-like’ letter ‘S’ rising from a bed of fire.
A Federal Judge in Louisville, Kentucky will rule on Sazerac’s request that Hood River Distillers has violated trademark laws. Sazerac, own three Kentucky distilleries and had previously tried to resolve the case without litigation.
Attorneys for the two companies exchanged letters before the suit was filed and David P. Peterson, an attorney for Hood River Distillers, of Hood River Oregon stated that SinFire label “will not cause any likelihood of confusion” among customers.
Initially Sazerac attorney Lori F. Mayall stated in a letter that “SinFire Cinnamon Whiskey conveys a highly similar commercial impression as Sazerac’s Fireball cinnamon whiskey,” Mayall added. “Sazerac is committed to protecting its FIRE component brands and the goodwill they have engendered.”
Sazerac has sold Fireball since 1999 in Canada and 2007 in the U.S. and promotes and offers a recipe for the drink the “Fireball Cinn-sation,” a play on the words “sensation,” “cinnamon” and “sin.”
See the recipe here
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