Bermudian trademarks: a Dark and Stormy area

Trade Marks and Service Marks are registered in Bermuda under the provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1974, which was largely modelled on similar UK legislation from 1938.

Readers will already be familiar with a number of uniquely Bermudian phenomena such as the Bermuda triangle and Bermuda shorts, as well as the Bermuda Rum Swizzle, Bermuda Fish Chowder, and the Bermuda Fish Sandwich.

Query, however, how many of these concepts are trademark protected, locally or internationally?

From a legal perspective, it is noteworthy that Dark n’ Stormy, a classic Bermudian cocktail made of ginger beer and rum, is trademark protected, and that the trademark rights are vigorously enforced by the rum producer Gosling’s, both in Bermuda and internationally. See, for example:

A Courtroom Cocktail: Gosling Brothers and a Dark, Stormy Message

http://bernews.com/2015/09/goslings-files-lawsuit-dark-n-stormy/

http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/youre-probably-drinking-illegal-dark-n-stormys-youre-also-probably-making-the-drink-wrong/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/surprising-litigious-history-dark-n-stormy-180955518/?no-ist

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ea58f7f4-261d-4076-9985-d64e256d3d6c

Avid readers of Offshore Alert (http://www.offshorealert.com/ListSummary.aspx?FolderID=3231) and Bermuda’s Supreme Court Cause Book may have noticed that there is now pending litigation between the English Sports Shop Ltd. and A. S. Cooper & Sons Ltd., as well as between Vineyard Vines LLC and the Registrar General (some of which is thought to relate to allegations of trademark breaches involving the use of a ‘whale’ logo).

With the 35th America’s Cup just round the corner in 2017, it looks likely that Bermudian trademark registration, and associated trademark litigation, will increase exponentially.

 

 

 

 

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