October 18, 2009
Wrestling Promoter, Wine School Butt Heads in Trademark Smackdown
This is a little off the wall, but I've been saying for a while that Food Law encompasses just about every area of law taught in law school. Here's trademarks in a context I might not have thought of. This is from The National Law Journal via Law.com (thank you to Steve Sholk for forwarding it!)
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is attempting a legal smackdown against a wine school that it says is violating its trademark.
WWE is opposing the Philadelphia Wine School's attempt to register the name Sommelier Smackdown for the food and wine pairing competitions it has held since 2007. The WWE's "SmackDown" program has aired on television since 1999.
"The WWE has been the registered owner of the trademark SmackDown for entertainment purposes for many, many years," said K&L Gates partner Jerry McDevitt, who represents the WWE. "We sent a letter saying, 'Guess what, you can't use that.'"
Philadelphia Wine School owner Keith Wallace said that he received the WWE's cease-and-desist letter in September. He has no intention of backing off the Sommelier Smackdown name, however.