Williams & Connolly Secures U.S. Supreme Court Win on Behalf of Jack Daniel's

June 2023

On June 8, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of firm client Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc., holding that when a defendant in a trademark suit uses the mark as a designation of source for its own goods or services—i.e., as a trademark—the threshold Rogers test for trademark infringement claims challenging so-called expressive works does not apply, and the Lanham Act’s exclusion from liability for “[a]ny noncommerical use of a mark” does not shield parody, criticism, or commentary from a claim of trademark dilution.  Accordingly, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision that a dog toy version of a Jack Daniel’s whiskey bottle does not infringe the company’s trademark rights.  

Lisa Blatt, Chair of Williams & Connolly’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice, argued the case. JD was also represented by Amy Mason Saharia, Matthew B. Nicholson, Natalie A. Komrovsky, Alexander Gazikas, Claire R. Cahill, and Rohit P. Asirvatham.

Learn more about the ruling on Law360.

back to top