Ollyy /
23 September 2014Trademarks

Diageo settles Johnnie Walker trademark dispute

A trademark dispute between the distiller of Johnnie Walker whisky, Diageo, and New York-based organisation The Explorers Club has been settled.

A letter published on The Explorers Club website from president Alan Nichols announced “an important sponsorship and licensing agreement between The Explorers Club and Diageo.”

“The agreement, which settles ongoing litigation between The Explorers Club and Diageo, is the culmination of an intensive effort by the leadership of the club,” he added.

The exact details of the agreement, however, have not been publicly disclosed, although Diageo did confirm it has become a corporate sponsor of the club.

Guy Escolme, global brand director for Johnnie Walker, said: “This collaboration with The Explorers Club brings the history and importance of exploration to life and allows us to share our joint passion for exploration and discovery.

“The Explorers Club is leading the way in world exploration, and we are privileged to be able to join them in this extraordinary effort,” he added.

The organisation filed a lawsuit against the drinks company in March this year, alleging that the Johnnie Walker Explorers’ Club Collection was infringing on its registered trademark.

The drinks collection was launched in December 2012 and is only available at duty-free shops.

Diageo submitted a petition to dismiss the case in June, but this was rejected by the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Judge Charles Ramos, presiding over the case, agreed with the organisation that the drinks maker “has indisputably profited from the purported unlawful and disputed use of the club’s name, to the tune of approximately $50 million in sales”.

Founded more than 100 years ago the club is “dedicated to scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space”. It counts former astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin among its members.

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