It is inevitable that in a rapidly expanding ecosystem such as microdistilled gins that conflict may arise. However, one thing that has been surprising to me is the frequency with which gins distilled in near complete isolation of one another have stumbled across the exact same name. Inevitably, as your name is your identity and how consumers will know your gin, its is important to get it right. In most cases, distillers differentiate themselves with flavors and botanicals to standout. But sometimes those differences aren’t enough [or more accurately, lawyers worry those might not be enough] and two brands take the dispute to court to fight for their name. Here is a short list of some of the more notable gin trademark disputes from the last few years:
2011: Brooklyn, NY and NOT Brooklyn, NY Perhaps the most famous of the gin trademark lawsuits. This one arose when Breuckelen Distilling [located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York] trademarked the name “Brecukelen” [pronounced exactly like the borough] and Miami based distiller Angel Santos trademarked the name “Brooklyn Gin,” which although it is not made in the borough, uses the borough’s identity as its inspiration for the bottle and design.