A Fort Collins distillery has caught the attention of an out-of-state competitor upset over a similar logo.
Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole Spirits filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Old Elk Distillery on Jan. 24, claiming the jumping rabbit Old Elk uses as on its Nooku Bourbon Cream is similar to the one it uses on Rabbit Hole products.
Old Elk launched Nooku in 2016, but Rabbit Hole claims it has been using the jumping rabbit symbol since 2015. The suit claims Old Elk also is moving into Rabbit Hole’s home market by creating a recipe for the mint julep cocktail popular at the Kentucky Derby.
Before filing the suit, Rabbit Hole sent a letter to Old Elk in September asking it to cease using the logo.
“Old Elk responded by stating that its use of the infringing rabbit hole marks did not infringe plaintiff’s rabbit hole marks and that it intended to continue using the disputed marks,” the suit says.
Rabbit Hole is asking the court to force Old Elk to stop using the logo, and for profits made from Nooku. The Kentucky distillery also is asking for damages with interest and court fees.
“While we are unable to discuss details of ongoing legal proceedings, we are confident in our brands and brand marks, and plan to vigorously defend these marks,” said Brigetta Lofquist, marketing manager at Old Elk, in an email.
Rabbit Hole is being represented by Amy Sullivan Cahill of Cahill IP in Kentucky, as well as Leonard H. MacPhee of Gardere, Wynn, Sewell LLP in Denver. Neither responded to a request for comment.
More on the booze industry’s overlapping names and lawsuits: