Stark Wine Wins Injunction Against Diageo

Nov 13, 2012, 08:45 ET from Stark Wine LLC

HEALDSBURG, Calif., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has granted Stark Wine LLC a preliminary injunction against Diageo Chateau and Estates, requiring Diageo to cease the advertisement, promotion, distribution and sale of its Stark Raving wines throughout Sonoma County, California.

Stark Wine is a winery based in Healdsburg, California, and produces hand-crafted, artisanal Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel, Viognier, Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc sourced from reputable farmers with proven track records for growing exceptional quality fruit in Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, Fair Play and Mendocino.

In the law suit, Stark Wine alleged that the pending trademark for Diageo's recently launched Stark Raving wine is confusingly similar to Stark Wine's trademarks for its Stark Wine and Stark Thirst brands that are registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

A Diageo representative acknowledged in court that they knew about the existence of the Stark Wine and Stark Thirst trademarks before applying for the Stark Raving trademark and launching the Stark Raving brand.

In a statement, Stark Wine noted that it brought the suit "because both brands start with the word 'Stark' and it was worried about consumer confusion. We don't want consumers to think that Stark Raving wine is made by Stark Wine as Diageo floods the market with its Stark Raving wine."

The company stated, "that it was pleased with this initial victory and is glad to have Diageo's Stark Raving wine out of its backyard."

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Contact: Stephanie Miller