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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Painkiller, Pusser's Rum and a Tiki Bar
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Painkiller, Pusser's Rum and a Tiki Bar
TikiGeeki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 17, 2008
Posts: 143
From: Chino Hills, CA
Posted: 2011-06-14 11:33 pm   Permalink

Anyone following the happenings of the tiki bar in NY formally known as Painkiller who is know known as PKNY because Pusser's Rum sued them over the use of Painkiller to preserve their trademark?

I wrote a blog post about it with my take on the matter:
http://blog.tikigeeki.com/2011/06/business-of-cocktails-such-pain.html

Thing that annoys me is the Painkiller was created a decade before Pusser's was even created, yet they were able to acquire the trademark for the Painkiller and force a bar to change their name and bully them to try to get them to use their rum because they gained the legal right to the Painkiller in the 1990s. That just seems wrong and an abuse of the trademark and patent system.

Kind of pissed at Pusser's for trying to profit from a tiki cocktail when they were not involved in its original creation, yet using it to their advantage as a business.

Thoughts?
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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2011-06-14 11:42 pm   Permalink

It has been (a little bit) discussed at the Painkiller thread http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=35645&forum=2

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TikiGeeki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 17, 2008
Posts: 143
From: Chino Hills, CA
Posted: 2011-06-14 11:48 pm   Permalink

Oh good! I was amazed to not find anyone talking about it!

It's a complicated topic with many different sides. Don vs Vic, Goslings, Bacardi and the Bacardi cocktail... legal issues over cocktails is nothing new. The thing that stands out here for me is a brand that acquired the rights 20 years after it had been created, and created without that brand, then attempts to press legally and force people to use their brand when making a Painkiller. That just seems wrong on so many levels.
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jokeiii
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 359
From: Miami
Posted: 2011-06-15 04:14 am   Permalink

Well, I'm certainly not going to subsidizing Pusser's actions. Someone, somewhere, called this a pyrrhic victory for Pusser's and I think that's right.

Gary Regan and others are calling for no backlash against Pusser's but, rather, increased support for PKNY. Which is nice, but not exactly, y'know, practical for those of us living in Florida (or Arizona, or Illinois, or Australia, or...) and so, to show my displeasure in the Adam Smith-approved way, I have decided to forego purchasing Pusser's and strongly advocate other like-minded folks do likewise.

It's one thing, I think, to trademark a cocktail with your brand name on it (i.e. "The Bacardi Cocktail") and quite another to become a squatter and then to defend the squatting. Is it legal? It seems to be. Is it right? I don't think it is, but others may disagree. (Fine, whatever.) The more relevant question should be "Is it a net plus, a sound business decision at the end of it all?" The answer, as I think Pusser's will discover to its great cost is likely to be "no."

By their own admission, they move +/-30K cases of rum. That's not a lot of wiggle room. Pusser's appeals (or seeks to) serious cocktailians. (That Painkiller in a can? Not a good idea, Pusser's. That's like a Ferrari moped.) Those people know there are other options out there and are likeliest to be outraged by these developments. The rest of the world will happily go on drinking Bacardi. So if you don't move a ton of product AND you only move that product among a certain niche of the population, angering that niche (or a significant portion thereof) is not the brightest business move.

As far as I can tell, Pusser's is in damage-control mode, and failing. The statement issued by founder Charles Tobias struck me as a bit dismissive and condescending (i.e. "if you don't like the law, change it") and not likely to win the hearts and minds of that very same niche upon which Pusser's sales are so dependent.

Moral of the story?

Just because you can, legally, do something doesn't make it correct or, perhaps more importantly, a wise business decision.
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jokeiii
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 359
From: Miami
Posted: 2011-06-15 2:39 pm   Permalink

BWAHAHAHA!! Pusser's violates Gosling's trademark: http://bit.ly/k8TfFH

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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7294
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-06-15 4:15 pm   Permalink

Jokeiii, you can only see that link if you follow them on Twitter, can you copy and paste it here?
Thanks
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phinz
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 30, 2007
Posts: 196
From: Southeast of Disorder
Posted: 2011-06-15 4:45 pm   Permalink

I don't follow them on Twitter, but I can see it...

http://twitter.com/pussers_bvi/statuses/13553239965?_escaped_fragment_=/pussers_bvi/status/13553239965#!/pussers_bvi/status/13553239965

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[ This Message was edited by: phinz 2011-06-15 16:46 ]


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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7294
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-06-15 4:51 pm   Permalink

"Media not displayed.

This Tweet is from someone you're not following. The media they're mentioning could be anything, even something you might find offensive."


All I get is a link to a guy making a Dark & Story with Pusser's

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exquisitecorpse
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 234
From: philadelphia
Posted: 2011-06-15 5:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

All I get is a link to a guy making a Dark & Story with Pusser's



Gosling's trademarked the drink "dark 'n' stormy" so far they haven't sued any bars named dark & stormy or the estate of charles schultz.



[ This Message was edited by: exquisitecorpse 2011-06-15 17:20 ]


 
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jokeiii
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 359
From: Miami
Posted: 2011-06-15 5:23 pm   Permalink

MDM,

Pusser's Twitter feed featured a violation of Gosling's trademark for the Dark 'N Stormy, a video of someone making the DNS with Pusser's and (ooops!) not Gosling's.

"@pussers_bvi tweeted:
How to make a dark and stormy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H80IJXykTZ8"
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7294
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-06-15 7:01 pm   Permalink

I GET IT NOW! I didn't understand how Acaciavet was tied to Pusser's? It was posted by Pusser's on their Twitter page
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jokeiii
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 359
From: Miami
Posted: 2011-06-15 7:13 pm   Permalink

'zackly.

As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon."


 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 855
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-06-15 9:31 pm   Permalink

From my understanding, any drink made using a rum other than Goslings must be called a Dark AND Stormy. Goslings have the trademark for a Dark 'N' Stormy.

As for the Pussers issue, there are a couple of pages on Facebook about it.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bartenders-and-Cocktailians-against-Pussers-Rum/120847664666715

http://www.facebook.com/pages/100000-Bartenders-Who-Wont-Buy-Pussers-Rum-Again/110098632412979
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ErkNoLikeFire
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 429
From: Michigan
Posted: 2011-06-15 10:25 pm   Permalink

If Pusser's is going for an all encompassing image of trademark protection, are they now going to sue DreamCatcher Interactive for having released a game in 2004 called "Painkiller"? They have already established an unreasonable legal claim on the name, I'm just curious on how far they are willing to push it.
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cheekytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 1091
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
Posted: 2011-06-16 12:56 am   Permalink

No, they are only protecting thier name in the areas they have trademarked it, so you can happily call almost anything else "Painkiller" as long as it is not within the drinks industry.
Like everything, there are two sides to every story. Pussers did the right thing in trying to protect thier copyright, but, could have done it in a less heavy handed way, hell, they could have played the whole thing to their advantage. PKNY stood up to keepiing thier name but could have been a little more understanding and played the whole thing to their advantage.
Trademarks are expensive to buy, and if you do not enforce them it makes them harder to protect.


 
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