UK-based liquor brand Ghost Vodka is being sued for trademark infringement by Swedish rockers Ghost. The company fired back at the band, particularly frontman Tobias Forge. Loudwire has since received a statement on behalf of the band.
“Recently we were rather bemused to receive legal correspondence on behalf of the Swedish band Ghost and their lead singer, Tobias Fitta Forge, informing us of action they wish to take against us for…..um….making vodka,” the vodka brand wrote in a Facebook post with a meme of the band and the vodka bottle on May 9. See the posts below.
Following initial reports on the conflict after the Facebook post, sales director for Ghost Drinks Ltd. Ry Leon provided a statement to Blabbermouth regarding the matter. According to the statement, Ghost Vodka was launched in 2015, and the company were not aware of the band Ghost or Forge.
“We are being sued purely because we are called ‘Ghost’ vodka. There are no other factors at play here,” Leon said. “Prior to the meme we posted this week (May 9), at no point have we ever used an image of the band to promote our product. Fans of the band and fans of rock metal as a whole have never been our target market for this brand.”
Leon’s statement also mentions that the band are trying to set the hearing for sometime in June in Stockholm, Sweden. Meanwhile, there are still travel bans throughout Europe due to the coronavirus. “The band seems determined to take advantage of this, knowing full well that we cannot attend the hearing.”
“Our thoughts on the matter? We believe Tobias Forge needs the money having recently settled another case out of court,” he continues. “If he can screw over his own bandmates, he will have now qualms in coming after a small, independent business. We respect his success and we can understand how hard he has worked to get where he is, however, there is no excuse for this kind of shitty behavior on his part.”
Ghost had previously released their own spirit line, Ghost Juniper Gin, however the band deny that the case is about “gin vs. vodka.” Loudwire has received a statement from Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk, legal counsel and trademark specialist for the firm GOZZO Advokater, who is representing the band in the conflict.
“Svensk Drama Pop (SDP) holds an exclusive trademark registration throughout the European Union for the figurative sign ‘Ghost.’ Those rights are licensed to Global Merchandising Services Ltd, in whose interest these proceedings are brought. This case has been on-going for months now, and numerous attempts have been made throughout that period of time to reach an amicable settlement.
This case is not about ‘gin vs. vodka,’ it’s about trademark rights that grant ownership for any and all alcoholic beverages – gin, whiskey, wine, beer, ale, vodka, etc. For any other EU-based entity to use the word ‘Ghost’ as part of its alcoholic beverage brand name would be in violation of SDP’s exclusive rights. SDP is entitled to defend these rights as any other business would when their trademark rights have been infringed. That is standard procedure.”
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