If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. Except when it comes to wine.
Duckhorn Wine Co., a Napa Valley winery, has filed a lawsuit against the New York business Duck Walk Vineyards. According to the Napa Valley Register, the two companies settled a trademark lawsuit in 2003, where Duck Walk agreed to a number of restrictions, including placing the wine’s place of origin on the New York bottles’ front label.
Court documents said that under the settlement, Duck Walk agreed not to produce and/or bottle more than 84,000 gallons of wine with the word “Duck” or pictures of ducks on the label unless they’re part of the corporate name “Duck Walk Vineyards Inc.”
Duckhorn’s 11-page complaint claims that the agreement requires Duck Walk to place certain geographic designation on their wine labels so customers are able to clearly distinguish the two wineries.
Henry Bunsow, a San Francisco attorney who represents Duckhorn Wine, told the news source that Duck Walk has not honored their half of the deal.
“They can sue us all they want. They won’t win,” Steven Schlesinger, one of the attorneys who represents Duck Walk, told the news source. “We just agreed we were Duck Walk,” he said, referring to the federal settlement.
Duckhorn wants its competitor to not only comply with the labeling requirements from 2003 but to also stop selling 50 percent of its wine production outside New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
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