Pa. vineyard says competitor stole wine-in-paint can idea

By Jim Boyle | Sep 8, 2014

A Chester County vineyard has filed a trademark infringement suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against an international company that allegedly stole its idea to market a wine-dispensing paint can product.

The owners of Paradocx Vineyards in Landenberg, Pa., seeks injunctive and compensatory relief against the Interpublic Group of Companies, a multi-national corporation that created a wine in a paint bucket product through its McCann Vilnius design agency in Lithuania.

According to the complaint, Paradocx began selling its recyclable wine in a paint container product in December 2007, eventually earning two U.S. patents in 2009 and 2010 for its design. The wine is held in a sealed bag and placed inside the container, with a spout on the outside of the can for dispensing.

In March 2014, McCann announced the release of its own wine in a paint can product, developed for the first release of red wines from the Beaujolais region of France, also known as the Beaujolais Nouveau first tasting. According to its marketing materials, the design was intended to invoke the purple painting the wine gives to a drinker's lips and teeth.

Paradocx accuses the defendants of seven different counts, including patent and trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and unfair competition. The claim says that Interpublic willfully created a false association with the plaintiffs by using the can design to confuse or deceive the public. The actions, the complaint says, have caused irreparable damage to Paradocx Vineyards and will continue to do so if the court does not issue an injunction.

The plaintiffs ask the court to restrain Interpublic from reproducing trademarks intended to weaken the trademark registered to Paradocx. The complaint also asks that the court order Interpublic to hand over for destruction products and advertising bearing the paint can trademark. Paradocx also seeks the award of all amounts by which the defendants have allegedly been unjustly enriched by the use of the infringing trademark.

The plaintiffs are represented by Frank Bonini, Jr., of Harding, Earley, Follmer & Frailey, PC, in Valley Forge, Pa.

The federal case ID number is 2:14-cv-05084-GAM.

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