Congratulations to Jim Astrachan and Kaitlin Corey on being named to the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Board of Governors.
Jim will serve on the Board for the First District, Baltimore City, and Kaitlin will serve on the Board as Section Representative for the Intellectual Property Section.
The two have a longstanding record of MSBA service. Jim is the founding and former Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee and a former member of the Maryland Bar Journal editorial board. He is a Life Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation. Kaitlin is a past Chair of the MSBA’s Intellectual Property Section and Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Section Education Committee.
On June 8, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a unanimous decision in the case of Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC, No. 22-148, 599 U.S. ___ (2023), ruling that when an alleged infringer uses a mark as a trademark to designate the source of its own goods, the Rogers test providing First Amendment protection for titles of artistic works does not apply to shield the challenged use from liability for trademark infringement, nor do the noncommercial use and fair use exclusions under the Lanham Act apply to foreclose dilution liability.
Jack Daniel’s makes and sells whiskey using the bottle design and label shown below, which are trademarks of Jack Daniel’s and are covered by several trademark registrations, including “Jack Daniel’s,” “Old No. 7,” the arched Jack Daniel’s logo, the stylized label with filigree (twirling white lines) and the distinctive square bottle design. VIP Products is a dog toy company that makes a line of chewable rubber toys called “Silly Squeakers,” many of which are designed to look like and parody popular beverage brands. Jack Daniel’s found no humor when VIP Products added the “Bad Spaniels” toy to its line (shown below), which is about the same size and shape as a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and uses the words “Bad Spaniels” in place of “Jack Daniel’s” in a similar font and arch, uses a similar black label and filigreed border, replaces “Old No. 7 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey” with “The Old No. 2 On Your Tennessee Carpet” and substitutes “43% poo by vol.” and “100% smelly” for “40% alc. by vol. (80 proof).” VIP’s Bad Spaniels product is packaged for sale with a hangtag (shown below) bearing two logos, one for Silly Squeakers and one for Bad Spaniels, and includes a disclaimer that the product is not affiliated with Jack Daniel Distillery.
Congratulations to Jim Astrachan and Donna Thomas. The two were selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA, an independent research company operating across 200 jurisdictions delivering detailed rankings and insight into the world’s leading lawyers. Read the full announcement here.