Francis Ford Coppola sues winemaker in trademark suit


Francis Ford Coppola sues winemaker in trademark suit

Stokkete /

Film director Francis Ford Coppola’s winery has sued Oregon-based vineyard Copa di Vino, claiming the winery is infringing its trade dress and trademarks.   

Coppola, who is best known as director of “The Godfather”, is the owner of the winery, based in Napa, California.

GMYL, the owner of Coppola’s wine-related trademarks, filed the suit yesterday, August 30, at the US District Court for the Central District of California.

Copa, and its owner James Martin, are being sued for trademark and trade dress infringement, and unfair competition. 

GMYL claimed Copa’s Winemaker’s Cut, which features the trademark ‘Copa’, was confusingly similar to its own wine, Director’s Cut, which features the trademark ‘Coppola’.

Claiming trade dress infringement, GMYL alleged that Copa had copied GMYL’s Diamond Collection Black Label Claret wine.

The trade dress includes a vertical rectangular black label on the front-centre of the wine bottle, the word “Coppola” in large, bold, capital letters, gold design elements and a thin gold net surrounding the entire bottle which “presents an overall diamond pattern encompassing the wine bottle”.

GMYL also claimed that Martin was aware of the Coppola winery as he had approached Francis Coppola Winery, a company affiliated with GMYL, and proposed a business venture on behalf of Copa in 2011. 

Francis Ford Coppola, wine, trademark, trademark infringement, trade dress, The Godfather, Copa di Vino, GMYL