Duckhorn claims right to duck image and name

Duckhorn claims right to duck image and name News Wine News
  • Tuesday 7 January 2003

Premium California producer Duckhorn Vineyards is locked in a legal dispute over who holds the copyright on ducks.

The eminent Napa winery, whose top wines sell for up to $90 on release, claims ducks and duck designs are 'associated in the minds of the consuming public with Duckhorn', the New York Times says, quoting co-founder Dan Duckhorn.

Duckhorn produces a range of wines, all closely associated with, and illustrated by, the contentious bird: the Decoy, the cult Paraduxx, Goldeneye and King Eider.

But Duck Walk Vineyards (label pictured) of New York state is standing up to its powerful near-namesake – which has already seen off two threats to its trademark.

In 1999 Central Coast winery Cecchetti Sebastiani released a Smoking Duck brand – and was persuaded by Duckhorn co-founder Dan Duckhorn to change the name and replace the label.

And Oregon's Duck Pond Cellars reached a confidential settlement with the California winery, Duckhorn legal officer Leslie Tschida told decanter.com.

According to the New York Times, Duck Walk filed a pre-emptive complaint in a district court, asking a judge to confirm its right to use ducks on its label. Duckhorn responded with a lawsuit claiming its adversary had violated trademark law.

The case – which has been simmering since August 2000 – is pending. Both parties have been forbidden to comment by the judge.

Decanter Events Pictures

Decanter Events picture galleries: still photos by Decanter's professional wine photographers of Decanter Events. Decanter runs more than 6 wine events a year, including our three yearly Fine Wine Encounters, now in their 14th year. Other events inlude our series of hugely popular 'Taste of...' events, and regular trade and consumer tastings

Related Topics