Jägermeister files opposition to Bucks logo with trademark office
Liqueur company has a pretty good point when it comes to the similarity of the Bucks' logo to theirs
The Bucks have undergone a lot of changes since Marc Lasry and Wes Edens bought the team a few years ago. They've negotiated a new arena deal, overhauled the coaching and front office staffs, and even changed the team's entire branding concept. The new logo features large antlers and is a much more serious and intimidating image than the past concepts.
However, when it was revealed, a lot of people noticed the similarity to the logo of a famous liqueur that has been the downfall of many a college student's morning. And apparently Jägermeister feels the same. They've filed an opposition with the trademark office over the Bucks logo. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Mast-Jägermeister, maker of the loved-or-hated liqueur famously downed in shots, on Thursday filed a formal opposition to the registration of the new-look Bucks logo with Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The company contends it "has established exclusive rights in the DEER HEAD Marks through use in commerce in the United States" going back to 1968, and cites a litany of reasons to oppose registration for the Bucks, including a likelihood that people might confuse the two companies, or believe they are connected or affiliated.
The liqueur firm also says registration of the Bucks logos would lead to "the dilution of the distinctive quality of Opposer's DEER HEAD Marks.
"Both logos feature forward-looking deer with large antlers, inside a circle or partial circle, in about the same proportions. The Bucks buck, the fourth generation of the logo, looks serious, if not angry. The Jager "stag" has a blank look, under a cross that hovers over his head. Some observers noticed the similarity immediately when the Bucks unveiled their new colors and logos last year.
Then Mast-Jägermeister warned of this concern: "Likelihood of tarnishment and damage to Opposer's goodwill is enhanced by the fact that prospective customers who are dissatisfied with the quality of Applicant's services will attribute those defects to Opposer."
As Katrina Hull, a partner and trademark specialist at Michael Best & Friedrich put it, "In other words, if the Bucks have a bad season, this could cause Jager fans to switch to vodka or tequila shots to not be reminded by the Jager bottle of the Bucks missed free throws or turnovers."
You have to give it to Jägermeister. They've got a point.
They are pretty similar, especially the double-circle on the outside.
A re-brand could cost the Bucks big time. There's a reason teams are so slow to adopt changes to names and logos. Those changes also have to be cleared with the NBA, so the league's on the hook here as well. We'll see if the two sides can work something out to settle it or if this gets awkward for Milwaukee.
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