22 August 2017Trademarks

Jägermeister faces dilution claims over 'Kühl as ice' advert

Alcoholic drinks maker Jägermeister has been sued for trademark infringement by an outdoor wear company over an advert featuring the word “Kühl”.

The complaint was filed at the US District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, on Thursday, August 22.

Alfwear, an outdoor apparel company which owns the ‘Kühl’ clothing brand, accused Jägermeister of “infringing and diluting” its trademark in an internet marketing campaign using the term “Kühl as ice” and “drink it ice Kühl”.

Kühl is the German word for ‘cool’ and was used as part of a re-branding marketing campaign by Jägermeister in June.

This included a new bottle shape and an updated label.

Alfwears owns US trademark number 1,990,375 for the ‘Kühl’ mark for use in class 25, according to the claim.

“Jägermeister has engaged in its wilful infringing activity despite having constructive notice of Alfwear’s federal registration rights,” the complaint stated.

It added that this was done with the intention of “misleading, deceiving or confusing customers”.

Alfwear is seeking injunctive relief, a removal of the two infringing phrases from all marketing, damages, profits, triple damages and attorneys’ fees.

“Using the trademarked name Kühl to promote Jägermeister tarnishes our brand and is a clear infringement of our trademark rights,” said Kevin Boyle, the founder and president of Kühl.

He added: “When I received a screenshot from a magazine publisher asking if Kühl did a collaboration with Jägermeister I know this has created confusion and dilution in the marketplace.”

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