In a recent development, global spirits conglomerate Pernod Ricard has taken legal action against JK Enterprises, accusing the company of trademark infringement. The lawsuit, filed in the Indian Supreme Court, alleges that JK Enterprises’ whiskey brand, “Blenders Pride,” infringes on the trademark of Pernod Ricard’s “London Pride Whisky.”
The case, presided over by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, was heard on January 5. Pernod Ricard had sought a temporary injunction against JK Enterprises, which was subsequently denied. The spirits giant maintains that JK Enterprises replicated its trademark and marketed whisky under the “London Pride” label. This label bears a striking similarity to Pernod Ricard’s own “Imperial Blue” label.
A Special Leave Petition is scheduled for January 19, providing Pernod Ricard with an opportunity to present its case in court. This isn’t the first time Pernod Ricard has faced legal challenges in India. The company has previously been embroiled in accusations of cartelization, money laundering, and undervaluing alcohol imports.
In a significant setback, Pernod Ricard’s liquor license was rejected by the New Delhi High Court. Furthermore, the Indian Government imposed a hefty fine of $244 million on the company for allegedly undervaluing alcohol imports.
The legal skirmish between Pernod Ricard and JK Enterprises underscores the importance of trademark protection in the increasingly competitive spirits industry. As the case unfolds, industry observers will be keeping a keen eye on the outcome and its potential ramifications.