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Curtis McMillan

Evil of Trademarks

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Curtis, are you decrying the original decision for MM, or that the appeal is going forward? I think the original ruling was too broad, so I was pleased to here there is an appeal underway.

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I understand the Red wax as a staple, but to stop anyone from using Red wax is a joke to me.

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It seems that switching the wax seal from red to blue or allowing customers to create their own seal, resulting in the trademark being disfigured, qualifies them to trademark all wax sealing under the same ruling and therefore prevent anyone else from sealing any liquor bottles with wax, or all alcoholic bottles for that matter. Of course, that's an extrapolation to the point of being silly but that's the slippery slope of a court ruling of this nature.

Whats next, JW suing so no one else can use a square bottle...

"

The company occasionally will make a wax seal of a different color, such as its recent promotion raising money for a charity with

University of Kentucky

basketball coach

John Calipari

. In that case, Maker's Mark produced a limited number of bottles with a blue wax seal.

Along with the advertising campaigns, Maker's Mark uses onsite dipping stations that allow customers to make their own wax seals on bottles"

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It seems that switching the wax seal from red to blue or allowing customers to create their own seal, resulting in the trademark being disfigured,

I would think that this fact alone disqualifies them from a trademark using red wax since they claim that the color red is what makes it distinguishing.

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I seem to remember reading MM's founders wife copied the idea from European brandies.

how can they trademark something they copied in the first place.

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The Maker's trademark for its wax is based on the irregular tentrils of wax, period.

I think they also claim the red color as part of their "trade dress" claim against other would-be wax sealers.

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Yes, although not explicit in their trademark color certainly plays in their concerns. In our negotiations they were very concerned that my orange wax was too close to red. Their trademark also specifically states whisky yet they pursue and have won cases against makers of other spirits.

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True, but I don't think they've ever won a case on the color alone, in the absense of tendrils. What they will try to convince you is covered and what a court will actually protect are not the same thing.

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