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Jack Daniels Shows How To Write a Cease and Desist Letter 402

NormalVisual writes "When the Jack Daniels distillery recently became aware of a book whose cover they felt substantially infringed their trademark, they didn't go into instant 'Terminator mode' — instead, they wrote a very thoughtful, civil letter to the infringing party, and even offered to help defray the costs of coming into compliance. I believe plenty of other companies (and many in the tech world) could use this as an example of how *not* to alienate people and come off looking like a bunch of greedy jerks."
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Jack Daniels Shows How To Write a Cease and Desist Letter

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:54AM (#40735825)

    Jack Daniels is NOT bourbon... it is a charcoal-filtered Tennessee whiskey. Bourbon comes from Kentucky. They are close, but not the same thing. ...and I will also be buying a bottle tonight.

  • Re:Classy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:54AM (#40735827)

    That's classy.

    Why can't more companies act this way towards one another?

    It's not profitable (or at least it is not immediately obvious why doing so would be profitable).

    The profitability comes from not having to pay their attorneys to sue someone. Lawyers are expensive, probably moreso than graphic designers.

  • (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zerro ( 1820876 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:55AM (#40735841)
    I recall something similar occurring to which was a language cheat sheet site, which is now []
  • Re:Classy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:56AM (#40735863)

    That's classy. Why can't more companies act this way towards one another?

    It's not profitable (or at least it is not immediately obvious why doing so would be profitable).

    Not profitable? Do you know how many "That's so classy I'm going to buy a bottle just to support them" messages I've read on various blogs? It's not just a cease and desist letter; it is an advertising coup.

    Indeed, this is a great example of garnering a positive public image by actually being positive. It's too bad I don't really like their whiskey, or I'd be sure to buy a bottle myself.

  • Re:Classy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:57AM (#40735881)

    There is indeed a chance that the book could be confused with having been produced by Jack Daniels, and that the content reflects the views of the company.

  • by namgge ( 777284 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @10:00AM (#40735915)

    The Jack Daniel's company's gracious reaction to the abuse of their trade mark is more than the book's publisher deserved. Deliberately ripping-off another company's IPR for a book jacket is not the behaviour of a reputable publisher.

    My experience, however, is that book-publishers are meticulous to the point of obsession about ensuring they have all the necessary rights for the cover artwork in place before going to press. This does make me wonder whether this incident is actually a publicity stunt...

  • Re:Classy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @10:05AM (#40735995)
    Yes, but the question was why other companies are not like this, and the answer is that for most companies, it is not clear that doing this would be competitive or profitable. Jack Daniels has been working very hard to make themselves seem classy, because they want to compete with high end bourbon and scotch brands (I don't think they have a chance if they continue to make whiskey their traditional way). Most companies are not marketing themselves as "classy," because it would not be profitable for them to do so in the first place -- who wants a "classy lawnmower" or a "classy backhoe?"
  • by marsu_k ( 701360 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @10:07AM (#40736013)
    Offtopic, but... whiskey burgers? Please elaborate, I'm intrigued.
  • by bbbaldie ( 935205 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:03AM (#40736651) Homepage
    They stomped all over a t-shirt manufacturer a few years back over "Little Doobie" shirts.

    And as an ex-employee who was unceremoniously downsized, may I say how good it feels to get "Little Doobie" back out there where Google can find it. The self-righteous tards would like nothing better than to have that ugly little incident forgotten. ;-)

    Please mod up and help my cause?

  • No infringement (Score:4, Interesting)

    by orgelspieler ( 865795 ) <( (ta) (eifl0w)> on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:08AM (#40736687) Journal

    This is a novel. That's about the only thing Jack Daniel's doesn't have a trademark on. Christmas lights and ukuleles, but not novels. JD has no case here, and should not be sending C&D letters to authors, no matter how nicely worded.

    According to the USPTO, JD's trademarks are for:

    • Cigarette lighters not of precious metal
    • Non-metal key chains, non-metal key rings, wood boxes and chests, glass signs in the nature of furniture mirrors, tables, picture frames, desk top organizers, wooden bar stools, folding chairs and portable stadium seats, ceramic and glass bottle stoppers with cork, corkboards and bulletin boards; leather key fobs
    • Umbrellas, luggage, duffel bags, athletic bags, backpacks, luggage tags, key cases, knapsacks, tote bags and all purpose canvas carrying bags for use as luggage or in travel and sports
    • Posters, notepads, paper napkins, mounted and un-mounted photographs, paper coasters, calendars; pens, pencils and cases therefor; notice boards, namely, dry erase writing boards; postcards, banners made of paper, tablecloths of paper, paper placemats, desk pads and stationery-type padfolios
    • Belt buckles and clasps for clothing, all made of non-precious metal; ornamental novelty pins
    • Cloth banners and pennants, household towels, linens, bed blankets, table covers not of paper, textile placemats and textile wall hangings
    • Glass and plastic drinking containers, flasks, ceramic mugs, ceramic pitchers, ceramic jugs, wood coasters, cork coasters, ceramic coasters, swizzle sticks, bowls, household food and beverage containers, glassware for beverages, metal serving trays of non-precious metal, portable beverage dispensers, portable picnic coolers, wooden cutting boards, portable drink dispensers, plastic water bottles sold empty
    • Ornamental lapel pins, clocks, watches, cuff links, necklaces and bracelets
    • Lamps, barbecue grills, flash lights, pen lights, electric Christmas tree lights and electric lamps
    • Guitars, guitar picks, guitar straps, banjos, ukuleles, drum sticks, practice pads for drumming; stringed instrument accessories, namely, straps, strings and slide cords; instrument carrying bags and instrument cases
    • Mustard, coffee, cakes, candy and sauces
    • Decorative magnets, decorative switch plate covers, mouse and mouse pads, sunglasses, protective eyewear, headphones, musical instrument amplifiers and cell phone cases; guitareoke system, namely, player-operated guitar-shaped video game controllers for electronic video game machines
    • Adult collectible die-cast miniature scale model vehicles, balloons, games, playthings and sporting goods, namely, dart boards, dart sets consisting of dart flights and darts, pool cues, pool ball racks, pool balls, cue racks, parlor games comprised of wooden blocks, outdoor activity games in the nature of pitching bungs into galvanized buckets, baseball bats, golf putters, golf ball markers, golf balls, golf clubs, hand grips for golf clubs, golf bags; gaming equipment, namely, poker sets comprised of cards, chips and arm garter sold as a unit; metal golf towel clips; cornhole sets, namely, bean bag games, and Christmas tree ornaments
    • Floor mats; carpets and rugs; cloth wall coverings
    • Footwear; headwear including caps, hats, cowboy hats, headbands, straw hats, visors, bandannas; clothing, namely, aprons, sleeve garters, t-shirts, golf shirts, work shirts, baseball shirts, woven shirts, shirts, tops, tank tops, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jogging suits, pants, dresses, skirts, sleep pants, pajamas, robes, shorts, jeans, jackets, coats, belts, neckties, neckwear, scarves, suspenders, leather jackets, rain suits, vests, parkas, gloves
    • Metal safes, metal bottle stoppers with cork, decorative boxes made of non-precious metal
    • Oh yeah, and alcoholic beverages, namely, distilled spirits.
  • Re:Classy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:39PM (#40737847) Journal

    I've seen about a dozen OEM versions of XP become tagged as pirated for no apparent reason at all outside a windows update. In all cases, after about 2 or 3 hours of tracking the original supplier of the software down, I would have to wait 24 hours to get a new product number/key then another day or two to get the license sticker.

    In one situation, I lost an account and had to hire a lawyer to stop one confused and irate business lady from going around telling people that I ripped her off by billing for the operating system then installed pirated software instead. Her defense was that Microsoft told her I did that.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.