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1) DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA INC (2) DIAGEO GREAT BRITAIN LTD v (1) INTERCONTINENTAL BRANDS (ICB) LTD (2) INTERCONTINENTAL BRANDS (HOLDINGS) LTD (3) INTERCONTINENTAL BEVERAGES (JERSEY) LTD

The defendant company had passed off an alcoholic beverage under the brand name VODKAT as vodka in the absence of a clear description of the product. Furthermore, extended passing off was not limited to products perceived as being of superior quality as that would be contrary to the authorities and the principle underlying an action for extended passing off, namely the protection of goodwill.

9 February 2010

The claimants (X) claimed against the defendants (Y) for extended passing off in relation to the sale, by Y, of an alcoholic beverage. X, a leading producer of alcoholic drinks, sold many well known brands of alcoholic beverages in the United Kingdom including SMIRNOFF vodka. Y was a smaller producer of alcoholic beverages and was, since 2005, responsible for marketing and selling a clear, virtually tasteless alcoholic drink under the brand name VODKAT in the UK. VODKAT was not vodka but rather a mixture of vodka and neutral fermented alcohol, having an overall alcohol by volume (ABV) content of 22 percent. VODKAT was sold in the UK in a number of different get-ups. The older get-ups mirrored, to some degree, the form associated with vodka products: 70cl bottles, red screw caps and the use of the word imperial on the labelling. The new get-up described the drink as a "classic Schnapps drink" relatively prominently on the label. Y had extended the VODKAT brand to include flavoured va...

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