Director Monica Riva Talley comment in Managing Intellectual Property’s coverage of Globefill Inc. v. Elements Spirits Inc. Aykroyd’s company filed the trade dress infringement suit against Elements Spirits and its founder Kimi Brandi. The defendants were selling KAH brand tequila inside of bottles that resemble Globefill’s packaging themed after sugar skulls affiliated with the Mexican Day of the Dead. A federal jury in California unanimously agreed that defendants had intentionally infringed the Crystal Head Vodka skull trade dress trademarked by Dan Aykroyd.

Talley told Managing IP that the decision was “satisfying not just for trademark attorneys and Dan Aykroyd fans, but also for marketing professionals.”

In discussing what the case means for brands and the use of nontraditional trademarks, Talley said, “in finding for infringement, the case reinforces the broad scope of protection that can be accorded to certain types of nontraditional trademarks, such as unique package designs. Such nontraditional brand identifiers can create even greater brand strength and product loyalty than traditional logos and brand names, and should be considered an important tool in any brand protection arsenal.”

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