Absolut Co. has filed a complaint and a motion for an injunction against Happy Hearts Wine LLC, a New York City importer of Israeli wine, after Absolut noticed a Certificate of Label Approval filed with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for “Kahfua,” which it alleges is too close to Kahlua®. Absolut Co. Aktiebolag v. Happy Hearts Wine, LLC., No. 15-3224 (E.D.N.Y., motion filed June 3, 2015).
Happy Hearts’ Kahfua, a “coffee expresso [sic] liqueur,” is packaged in a similar brown bottle with a similar yellow and red label written in a similar script to Kahlua®, Absolut argues in its motion. It further alleges that Happy Hearts has acted with bad faith by infringing Absolut’s trade marks. “Simply stated, there can be no ‘innocent explanation’ for such a blatant knockoff,” the motion asserts. In addition to trademark infringement, Absolut alleges that Happy Hearts is engaging in trademark counterfeiting, which requires a showing that the mark is “spurious” and “identical” or “substantially indistinguishable” from the existing mark. Absolut seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent Happy Hearts from using the mark during litigation.