Ghost (the Band) Lose Lawsuit Against Ghost (the Vodka)
The judgement in the court case that Ghost leader Tobias Forge filed against British spirits company Ghost Vodka earlier this year was handed down by a Swedish court on Tuesday, December 22, ruling in favor of the vodka company and dismissing the case.
A spokesman for Ghost Vodka, Ry Leon, tells MetalSucks:
“We’re glad the judge saw that Tobias’ ego was just looking for a free oily massage and ruled against his absurd claims. Back to good vodka and good times.”
Ghost (the band) claimed that their ownership of a trademark for use of the word “Ghost” on all alcoholic beverages throughout Europe, with a gin already on the market, put Ghost Vodka in violation of their rights.
The spirits maker had declined an invitation from the band for a potential collaboration in 2016. When news of the lawsuit broke in May of this year, the company claimed that Forge “is no stranger to litigation” and was using his resources to bully smaller companies. Ghost Vodka said at the time that their product did not resemble the band’s imagery in any way or attempt to cash in on their name, arguing that the word “ghost” has been widely understood and used in both personal and business settings for centuries, as has skull imagery.
The court found that Svensk Drama Pop AB, Tobias Forge’s company through which he conducts commercial activities, had registered the EU trademark for alcoholic beverages using the word “Ghost” in 2013, but had not made actual use of that trademark within the five-year period required by law. Ghost Vodka launched in April of 2015.
Further, the Patent and Market Court found that there are major visual differences between the characteristics of the imagery associated with the band and vodka. After a detailed analysis and comparison of the two marks, the court concluded that an average consumer would have no difficulty differentiating the products with little more than a cursory examination.
Finally, the court decided that there is no risk that the public will get the impression that the goods come from the same company or from companies with financial ties, and thus Ghost Vodka does not infringe upon SDP’s trademarks.
We’re glad this frivolous lawsuit is now in the past. Congrats to everyone at Ghost Vodka for sticking to their guns and winning out.