Heaven Hill Brands in Bardstown, Kentucky and Log Still Distillery in Gethsemane, Kentucky have finalized a mutually agreeable resolution of their dispute regarding the usage of the “J.W. Dant” trademark and its associated goodwill, which were purchased by Heaven Hill in 1993.
The resolution, which includes an agreed, permanent injunction that was approved and entered by the United States District Court on July 31, 2023, demonstrates that both Heaven Hill and Log Still value the importance of intellectual property rights and maintaining strong, independent brand identities within the spirits industry. In their ongoing efforts to enhance their respective portfolios, the companies have jointly agreed to terms that respect the ownership of existing trademarks and that will prevent any possible confusion around future trademark usage. Heaven Hill will continue to be the sole producer of J.W. Dant distilled spirits.
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“Heaven Hill maintains a product portfolio of respected, historic brands with enduring legacies in the Kentucky Bourbon industry, and continuing that legacy is a priority for our business. This resolution underscores our commitment to protecting our intellectual property and brand equity,” said Jessica Pendergrass, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Heaven Hill.
“This is a collegial industry built on strong relationships. We value Log Still as a partner in the distilling industry and wish them continued success in their distilling ventures.”
“The uniqueness of the bourbon industry is the collaborative work amongst distilleries,” said Log Still Distillery Founder Wally Dant. “Heaven Hill and Log Still have worked together over the past few years on making a difference in the communities we live and work. That is what’s important for each of us. We are glad to resolve this dispute amicably and can now focus more time on developing our distinctive line of products and services. Making memories with family and friends is what our campus is all about. Sharing a good bourbon among friends is simply the result of this resolution. We appreciate the efforts Heaven Hill has made as a fellow family-owned presence in this collective spirits industry and wish them the best in their endeavors.”
Their joint statement goes on to say Heaven Hill and Log Still express their gratitude to their customers, partners, and stakeholders for their continued support. They remain committed to providing exceptional products for all who enjoy their spirits, and for all who visit their memorable visitors’ experiences on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®.
Heaven Hill Distillery was founded in 1935, Bardstown, Kentucky and is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and led spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, Henry McKenna, and J.W. Dant Bourbons; Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey; Deep Eddy Vodka; Admiral Nelson’s Rum; Black Velvet Canadian Whisky; Lunazul Tequila; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur, plus the newly-acquired Samson & Surrey portfolio.
Log Still Distillery was founded in 2019 and is bringing bourbon back to Gethsemane. Guided by Wally Dant and cousins Lynne and Charles Dant, Log Still is built on old distillery land and reimagined to create a unique bourbon and family destination. Each bottle is filled with respect, ever mindful that faith, family, community and bourbon pave the way for future generations. Featured products include the Monk’s Road line of Kentucky bourbons and gins and Rattle & Snap Tennessee Whiskey line. Log Still anchors a pastoral campus that includes an outdoor amphitheater with world-class entertainment, a 20,000-square-foot wedding and events venue, multiple B&B’s, a private train depot, a soon-to-open farm-to-table restaurant and a walking path surrounding a 12-acre fishing lake, making it a one-of-a-kind destination to make lasting memories with family and friends.
– Heaven Hill Distilleries Files Suit Against Startup Log Still Distillery Over Use of ‘J.W. Dant’ Trademark – March 2021
– Heaven Hill vs. Log Still Distillery – Court Grants Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Stop Using ‘J.W. Dant’ Brand – December 2021
Is Bourbon Justice Something New? Hardly
Bourbon and lawsuits are no stranger to each other. In fact, the book Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America is dedicated to the topic.
Bourbon whiskey has made a surprising contribution to American legal history. Tracking the history of bourbon and bourbon law illuminates the development of the United States as a nation, from conquering the wild frontier to rugged individualism to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit to solidifying itself as a nation of laws. Bourbon is responsible for the growth and maturation of many substantive areas of the law, such as trademark, breach of contract, fraud, governmental regulation and taxation, and consumer protection. You can learn more about Bourbon Justice here.