Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dispute Between KDA And The Sazerac Company Is Settled.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) and Sazerac Company, Inc., today announced that the groups have reached a settlement over disputed trademark issues. Although terms of the settlement are confidential and will not be released to the public, the result is evident from the announcement's wording. KDA continues to own the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® trademark, but Sazerac is allowed to refer to the 'bourbon trail' generically when promoting tourism at its three Kentucky facilities.

The announcement brings an end to litigation filed in U.S. District Court in May 2010 by the KDA against Sazerac, a Louisiana-based company that owns the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, and Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro. In response to KDA’s lawsuit, Sazerac countersued the KDA. The counterclaims against KDA have also been resolved as a result of today’s settlement.

Sazerac Company resigned from the KDA, a non-profit trade association based in Frankfort, in December 2009. Members of the KDA include Beam Global Spirits & Wine (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark), Brown-Forman, Diageo North America, Four Roses, Heaven Hill and Wild Turkey.

“We’re pleased that an amicable resolution has been reached in this important matter,” said KDA President Eric Gregory. “The KDA and its members look forward to continue building the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience and promoting our signature industry’s rich history to visitors from around the world.”

“Sazerac’s three Kentucky distilleries, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Barton 1792 Distillery and The Glenmore Distillery look forward to continue developing their distillery tours along the bourbon trail,” said Marketing Service Director, Meredith Moody.


Bradley J. Weidemann said...

Was there any prior use of "bourbon trail" or was that a unique term invented by KDA? Sazerac seems to want to give the impression that "bourbon trail" is a merely descriptive term, so KDA wouldn't have much trademark interest in it. But, it seems to me to be an attempt to hitch a free ride on someone else's ad campaign.

M Lange said...

Did Sazerac ever give a reason for leaving the bourbon trail? Buffalo Trace is well promoted, but when I visited Kentucky I didn't know I could tour Barton until I saw a billboard outside Bardstown (and couln't fit the tour in to my schedule), and I hadn't even heard of this third distillery until now. Seems like it would be easier to be part of the Bourbon Trail than to work against it.

Chuck Cowdery said...

Sazerac feels it can get more bang for the buck on its own.

Glenmore is in Owensboro. No distilling is done there, but they have maturation warehouses and it is Sazerac's principal bottling operation. Currently they don't give tours there.