Brooklyn, NY – Absolut Co. Files Lawsuit Against Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish Company Over Infringement

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    Brooklyn, NY – Absolut Co. filed a complaint in New York federal court last Thursday to halt Brooklyn-based Happy Hearts’ production of what they say is a knockoff of Absolut Co.’s Kahlua coffee liqueur.

    The coffee liqueur, allegedly made by Happy Hearts Wine LLC located on 18th Ave and 45th Steet, looks very similar to Kahlua in its labels, bottle shape, color and the name – “Kahfua,” reports Law360.

    Absolut got wind of the situation when Happy Hearts filed a Certificate of Label Approval for a new alcohol label, which is required by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

    Absolut says it’s sent multiple cease-and-desists to the Happy Hearts company.

    The suit requests an injunction on the grounds of infringement, dilution and unfair competition, in addition to trademark counterfeiting.

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    17 COMMENTS

    1. Moronic of them to even attempt to use such a similar name, and even more so use identical colors, shapes, fonts,,etc….This is all in an effort to mislead consumers into thinking they’e purchasing Kalhua…I’ve seen them on the shelves, they look almost identical.

      Many of us still remember when BigFleishig’s on 16th Ave was called McFleishig’s. He got sued in Federal Court just for using the ‘Mc’ Prefix. He ran as fast as he can and changed his name, logo, bags, menus, etc…

      This is a done deal. Kafhua is as good as dead…

      • You use a disgraceful example. McDonald’s does not own the prefix Mc.
        I would never have changed the name if it were my deli store. No one should bow to such frivolous nonsense. It was an opportunity from Heaven for free national publicity worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for that little guy on 16th Avenue, that was just wasted away. If it was me, I would have turned that little deli into a national kosher franchise. A real shame!!!!
        However, in the case at bar (no pun intended) the problem I see is that orthodox Jewish people in the future will become confused in the other direction and in many instances believe they are buying and drinking the kosher version and will instead in error be buying and drinking the brand that does not carry any hechsher.
        However, from a pure legal perspective I see no problem with defeating Kahlua in court. They don’t own any color of right (again no pun intended) to the color yellow; the brand name is not the same; and the shape of the bottle carries no patent and therefore is not an infringement or violation of any federal patent law.
        And more importantly than the legal opinion stated above; I cant stand drinking Kahlua!!!!

        • The problem is that the Orthodox Kosher consumer wants what the Goyim or non-kosher consumer has – and often that fails – case in point “Nathan’s kosher on Kings Highway.
          I recall years and years ago when ‘Kosher Country’ opened up in Coney Island they
          had Kosher “Cheese” burgers (Tofutti Cheese) – Parve Malteds.
          as for the copying of the Kaluah – had they kept the hechsher they would not have had the problem.
          The issue today is that too many companies are letting go of their kashrus supervision because the costs become too great. Rather than not killing the goose – and working with these companies they try to choke the goose – and result is – good bye hasgocho.

        • You really shouldn’t be commenting from “a pure legal perspective” since you obviously do not practice intellectual property law (and I do). There are registered trademarks for the Kahlua brand name and for the design of the label, dating back to a first use in U.S. commerce in 1938. This means that the trademarks are what we call “incontestable” (the trademarks’ validity cannot be challenged). The infringing word mark is confusingly similar to the registered mark, and the infringing label is confusingly similar to the registered label mark. As for the shape of the bottle, the look-and-feel of the product packaging is protected in the U.S. by common law rights as well as by formal registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Absolut has certainly used this bottle with its distinctive shape, color, and label in commerce for a long time and therefore has common law protection. Please do not give legal advice that you are very obviously incompetent to give. This is one of the most clear cases of trademark and trade dress infringement that I have seen and Kafual would lose decisively in any court.

          • After reading the legal opinions of Attorney Anonymous (comment 15) for the Plaintiff, and of The Schnitzel & Burger Law Firm for the defendant, this Court finds the law is in full flavor with Shnitzel & Burger. Case closed !!

            (To which in response the Court’s law secretary was heard on the record shouting “I’ll drink to that”)

    2. Can this company be trusted with our wines from Europe, Argentina, etc.
      That is the the real question.

      This is a brazen disregard for normal business practice. Where there is smoke there is fire. Please anyone in the know please report.

      • Who cares??? the question has to do with trademark protection and intellectual property rights and the attempt by some yidden to mamash be ganovim for a product that clearly is one they are copying. The exisiting Kaluah does have a good chadsideshe hashgacha so the attempt to copy it makes it an even bigger chillul hashem.

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