Dueling trademark lawsuits between gin producers in Washington and New York came to an amicable close today, with Washington's New Columbia Distillers LLC and New York's Green Farms II LLC agreeing to drop their respective cases.
New Columbia, which makes Green Hat Gin, filed notice today that it was voluntarily dismissing its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Green Farms, which makes Greenhook Ginsmiths brand gin, filed the same notice dismissing its case on Friday in a New Jersey federal court.
Green Farms first sued New Columbia in New Jersey, claiming that the Green Hat brand was too similar to its own Greenhook brand. New Columbia filed a lawsuit in Washington seeking a declaratory judgment that its trademarks were protected.
Michael Lowe, co-owner and distiller of Green Hat Gin, said in a statement today that the two sides reached an understanding that the two brands weren't confusingly similar. "We agreed to dismiss our case and the other side agreed to dismiss its case. No money changed hands, no one is changing their labeling," he said.
In an e-mail, Green Farms founder Steven DeAngelo said his company pursued the lawsuit to protect its brand but decided that it was better to reach an agreement and move on. "We wish New Columbia the best of luck with their new enterprise and we at Greenhook Ginsmiths look forward to competing with them in the market," he said.
Venable partner Damon Wright represented New Columbia. Green Farms never had an attorney enter an appearance in the D.C. case, but was represented in the New Jersey lawsuit by Jonathan Fallon of Mandelbaum Salsburg Lazris & Discenza in West Orange, N.J.