Sazerac is aggressively protecting its Buffalo Trace brand. They don’t even have a decision yet on the trial against Fetzer Vineyards trademark infringement when Fetzer used a buffalo image and the phrase bourbon barrel-aged” on its wine labels. This time, the target is Clementine Group for its “Buffalo Theory” brand beer. Sazerac filed opposition proceedings against the trademark application, arguing that bourbon and beer are “highly related,” will be sold to “overlapping consumer bases” and travel in the same channels of trade. The case number is 91235668. These arguments have been successful in the TTAB and court decisions over alcohol industry trademark disputes.
The takeaway – if you have a limited budget for brand protection and trademark clearance searches, stay away from Buffalo related names and images when launching new alcoholic beverage brands.