NEW ORLEANS — New
Orleans’ Tropical Isle has fined a complaint against a North Carolina company
claiming the company has been making its trademark Hand Grenade drink.
Isle claims that Bourbon Street Wilmington purchased its Hand Grenade mix
and labelled cups several years ago. It issued a cease-and-desist letter to
the Wilmington company at the time, which led to a settlement in 2013.
As part of
the agreement, Bourbon Street Wilmington paid Tropical Isle money for
“infringing sales.” It also agreed to stop infringing on the trademark and agreed to pay for any additional civil action.
Tropical Isle now belives Bourbon Street has been selling the drinks again,
despite the agreement that it would stop.
of Bourbon Street Wilmington, Kevin Corbett, said he has not infringed on the
trademark. He also pointed out he does not own the company named in the 2013
settlement, Bourbon Street LLC.
lawyer Peter Russell, said the proof of burden is on the plaintiff in the case.
“All they have is an agreement, basically like a contract,
that has been signed off by a judge saying you won't use the Hand Grenade by
Bourbon Street LLC,” Russell
told the Louisiana Record. "You will agree not to use it and whatever damage that they
may have agreed to at that time would have been taken care of. This new company is alleging here ‘look that business
is no longer around anymore.’”
Russell also said the case raised many interesting
questions. He also said to think of a company like a person.
“Did this person change their name and it is still the same
person? Or did new people come together and make a baby – a company?" he asked. "If this is
a new person, even if it has some of the other parties involved, but it truly
is a new company the liability is going to be hard to attach. You have to bring
a different type of suit, make an allegation of a trademark infringement. If he keeps his suit, he is going to have to overcome a big
burden to show that this new company is actually the same person and all they
did was just change names.”
The complaint accuses Bourbon Street of trademark
infringement, trademark counterfeiting, trademark dilution, unfair competition
and breach of contract.
“They are saying that what they make is essentially a copy,
brand for brand, look for look, or near approximate enough as the original
trademark,” Russell explained.
Tropical Isle considers it drink “New Orleans Most Powerful
Drink” and said it is “world famous," according to its website.
It also claims the drink is only sold at its locations on Bourbon Street in
the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Tropical Isle is seeking money allegedly made off its drink along
with court costs and any damages.