The Frightening Tale of the "Hallowine" Trademark

What’s better than trick or treating? Well, throwing in some spiced apple wine may make it a little more fun.  “Hallowine” is the nectar of ghosts and spirits but now there is one less of them on the market.
Gather around and be ready to be horrified by a scary story about trademark infringement.  Door Peninsula Winery is a Wisconsin company that began selling and distributing spiced apple wine called “Hallowine” in 1998.  In 2005, Illinois River Winery also got into the apple wine business and began distributing and sought to register the trademark for HALLOWINE.  And here is the scary part, the parties have been fighting…and incurring attorneys’ fees about it ever since. The Trademark Office sided with Door Peninsula because their use of the mark was first.  Remember, it is not first to register but first to use a trademark that grants priority.
Illinois was not scared off by the ruling and continued to sell its “Hallowine” anyway.  Door tried garlic and holy water but Illinois could not be stopped and Door was forced to file a lawsuit asserting trademark infringement. Not surprising, Door won the infringement case and $508,000 plus in damages.  But like a zombie, Illinois wouldn’t die and took the case to the Court of Appeals.  The grime-faced judges, dressed from head to toe in black robes, affirmed the lower court’s ruling saying that Illinois was trying to make new arguments at the appeals court which were deemed waived.  The appeals court once again issued the death sentence for Illinois’ Hallowine.
Hopefully you made it through this tale without shrieking in fear but lesson learned, if you use someone else’s trademark without permission you will pay the price.  (Muahahaha)
Halloween Wine - Hallowine