Today’s story comes not from the world of whisky – but from the wacky world of Swedish Vodka Lawyers.
The Guardian reports that Vin & Spirit (now referred to as V&S Group) believes it owns the word “Absolute” simply because of its ownership of the Absolut Vodka brand. Since Pernod Ricard owns Vin & Spirit does that mean the Pernod owns the word?
The owner of Swedish vodka brand Absolut has launched legal proceedings against Absolute Radio, the rebranded Virgin Radio, for infringement of its trademark.
Drinks company V&S Vin & Sprit (sic), which owns the Absolut vodka brand and Absolut Tracks music project, has issued a writ against Absolute Radio for trademark infringement and “passing off” – misrepresenting its services as those of Absolut.
The firm has claimed that consumers are likely to be confused over the use of the similar names and that Absolute Radio could be detrimental to its vodka brand.
A spokeswoman for V&S Vin&Sprit confirmed it launched proceedings.
“The reason for this is that we consider there is a risk of confusion,” she said. “We have a well known brand and there is an obvious risk of confusion between Absolut vodka and Absolute Radio.
How absolutely asinine.
Even sillier is their demand that Absolute Radio International abandon its trademark on their name – despite having held the trademark since 2003.
By the way, Vin & Spirits also owns Level Vodka & FRÏS Vodka – FRÏS is pronounced “Freeze” – so perhaps they in turn own the words “level” & “freeze” as well?
Hell, maybe they even own “Vodka”.