Can I use a brand name bourbon to make candies and sell to the public saying they are made with that bourbon?

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2012

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Can I use a brand name bourbon to make candies and sell to the public saying they are made with that bourbon?

For example I have a family recipe that required makers mark to be mixed with other ingredients then filled into a candy. Can I sell the product as makers mark filled candies?

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Business Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can only do this with the permission of  the company holding the intellectual property rights (e.g. the trademark) to Maker's Mark:

1) If Maker's Mark is trademarked (which I assume it is), you have no right to use that mark without the permission of the trademark holder; when anything is trademarked, the rights holder can prevent all  unauthorized use, or sue for compensation for infringement.

2) If you in any way imply or suggest a connection or relationship between you and Maker's Mark, that is unfair competition--confusing consumers as to source of the goods--and is a separate violation froom the above, also giving rise to grounds for a lawsuit.

You can't use others' tradenames or trademarks without permission.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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