18 February 2022TrademarksAlex Baldwin

Kendal Jenner’s 818 Tequila accused of copying rival

Kendal Jenner’s “818 Tequila” brand has been sued by the owner of the Texas-based “512 Tequila” brand for “blatantly” copying its branding

In a complaint submitted to the US District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, February 16, ClipBandits said that the similarities between the “818” and “512” Tequila brands were “so striking” that it could not be a result of coincidence.

ClipBandits claim that its 512 tequila carries a “highly distinctive logo and colour scheme” that it has utilised since 2015. The branding is backed by a trademark and a pending application for registration of its trade dress covering the 512 mark in black lettering inside a “vertical yellow rectangle” label.

The company claims that K & Soda’s 818 tequila, launched in 2021 “blatantly copied the branding” of its own drink.

The 818 Tequila features a similar three-digit brand with a central “1” that represents an area code, black lettering inside a vertical yellow rectangle, both of which have “acquired so much goodwill over the years”, according to ClipBandits

ClipBandits said: “Rather than trying to compete on their own merits, defendant simply used plaintiff’s marks with immaterial tweaks, hoping to grab plaintiff’s customers as a ready-made customer base by deceiving them into falsely believing that defendant’s 818 tequila is another product sold by plaintiff or has some other affiliation with plaintiff’s 512 tequila.”

The infringement is also “dangerous and destructive” to the 512 brand, the complaint alleges. Following the launch of the 818 brand, spokesperson Kendall Jenner and the brand itself were accused of cultural misappropriation of the “Mexican Tequila heritage”, for trying to “seem” to have Mexican roots.

The complaint alleges K & Soda engaged in trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair competition.

ClipBandits seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction barring future infringement of its marks and an award of exceptional damages.

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