The US’s top court is hearing a dispute between whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s and the maker of a squeaking dog toy that parodies the liquor’s bottle and label.
US Supreme Court chews on Jack Daniel’s dog toy dispute
A dispute between Jack Daniel’s and the makers of a squeaking dog toy that mimics the whiskey’s signature bottle have given the Supreme Court a lot to chew.
The question for the court involves whether the toy’s maker infringed on Jack Daniel’s trademarks, and the justices were largely on their best behaviour, not picking up on the toy’s poop humour and puns.
Still, with three of the justices either completely or almost totally silent, it was not clear from the arguments on Wednesday whether Jack Daniel’s case is on the rocks or whether the makers of the Bad Spaniels toy had been, well, bad.
Justice Samuel Alito expressed scepticism for Jack Daniel’s arguments. “Could any reasonable person think that Jack Daniel’s had approved this use of the mark?” he asked, suggesting the toy was an unmistakable parody and legally acceptable.