How Does Jack Daniel's Handle Trademark Infringement?
When Patrick Wensink approved the artwork for the cover of Broken Piano for President, a comical story about the fast food industry booze, and the necessity to choose happiness over work and security, his intent certainly...
When Patrick Wensink approved the artwork for the cover of Broken Piano for President, a comical story about the fast food industry, booze, and the necessity to choose happiness over work and security, his intent certainly wasn't to outright steal the Tennessee Whiskey mavens label. But the similarities are a little to uncomfortable for ol’ Gentleman Jack's legal department.
In a cease-and-desist letter from Jack Daniel's to Patrick, there is something to be learned. Something more than the need to protect your copyrighted and trademarked works. There is a great lesson here about class and compassion - something that companies like Apple can learn.
We would normally expect a corporate giant to squash the little guy at any means necessary to protect their property, but not good old Jack. They do it with swagger. In what has been dubbed the 'nicest cease-and-desist letter ever,' Jack Daniel's Properties politely explained the situation, thanked the author for his flattering rendition of their branded label and offered to help him with the cost of redesigning his book cover. Maybe the greatest part is allowing him to keep the cover as is until additional books are printed - without legal action.
What businesses large and small can learn here is that you can protect your intellectual property without threats or starting World War III. It's a win-win-win situation; Patrick Wensink gets to keep his book on the shelves, Jack Daniel's protects their trademark and both parties get a huge PR bump. If only more trademark complaints were handled this way, the world might be a better place.
What are your thoughts on how Jack Daniel's handle this?