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Blog

Distillations: ALERT: Skull Crushing Victory

March 30, 2017

Blog

Distillations: ALERT: Skull Crushing Victory

March 30, 2017

Back to Fish's Trademark and Copyright Blog

 

A unanimous eight-person jury found that Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka skull-shaped bottle has been intentionally infringed by Elements Spirits Inc.’s Day of the Dead-inspired skull shaped tequila bottles.  Undoubtedly affecting the jury’s four hour deliberation was the last minute rebuttal-witness – an individual involved with Element’s bottle design – who testified that Elements founder Kimi Brandi had lied to the jury when she denied ever seeing the Crystal Head Vodka bottle, when in fact she had actually asked him to make a plaster cast of the distinctive skull-shaped bottle for her to base her model on.

   

Although this verdict is a major victory for Aykroyd’s company, Globefill Inc., it is not the end of the story.  The jury’s decision addresses the issue of willful infringement, but the question of lost profits and a permanent injunction will be handled by U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall.  Worth noting is that this is the second jury trial in this case overseen by Judge Marshall – and that in the first case (2013) the jury found for Elements.  The Ninth Circuit vacated the original decision in February 2016, and then Judge Marshall denied Globefill’s request for a preliminary injunction barring Elements from selling the skull-shaped bottles of tequila until the second trial. Both the drama and the case are far from over.

Globefill Inc. v. Elements Spirits Inc., case number 2:10-cv-02034, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Blog Authors

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John P. McCormick | Associate

John P. McCormick is an Associate in the Boston office of Fish & Richardson.  Mr. McCormick’s practice focuses on trademark portfolio development and management, as well as the clearance, prosecution, and enforcement of trademarks and copyrights in the U.S. and internationally....

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Nancy Ly | Associate

Nancy Ly is an Associate in the Southern California office of Fish & Richardson. Nancy counsels clients with respect to trademark and copyright matters and is experienced in trademark clearance, trademark prosecution, licensing, enforcement, and policing, as well as Internet law matters including Uniform Domain Name Dispute actions. In...

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Robert M. O'Connell, Jr. | Of Counsel

Robert O’Connell is Of Counsel in the Boston office of Fish & Richardson. His practice focuses on trademark and copyright strategic advice, prosecution and enforcement, including all aspects of domestic and international trademark law; registration and protection of...

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