Really just an excuse

To show off the autographed Maker's Mark I won as a door prize at the ACHE South Conference. From Freakonomics.

Who Owns Red? Maker’s Mark and Jose Cuervo Fight It Out

Last week, in Kentucky, a similar issue arose concerning red wax. The red in question was on the neck of bottles of booze—specifically, Maker’s Mark bourbon and Jose Cuervo’s Riserva de la Familia tequila, which both feature a bottle cap seal made of red, dripping wax (Cuervo has since shifted to a straight-edged red wax seal). Maker’s, which used the dripping wax seal first, sued Cuervo, claiming trademark infringement.

The dispute is interesting because we like to drink bourbon and tequila it highlights two things about brands in the modern economy.

First, trademarks are not limited to words, like Nike or Apple, or symbols, like the swoosh or the apple-with-a-bite-missing. Increasingly, they are baked right into the product (think Louboutin’s red soles) or fall halfway between product and packaging (the dripping red wax that adorns all the tops of bottles of Maker’s Mark). In a global economy with diverse languages, symbolic branding like this can be especially valuable.

Comments

David Haas said…
Hi,
I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?
David

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