Family Sues Over Duke Ellington Cognac
Duke Ellington’s grandson has filed a lawsuit in New York against the makers of Duke Ellington XO Cognac, which had a limited production run in 2006, for using his grandfather’s signature and likeness without the family’s permission.
The family of the music legend says that Harbrew Imports used the name “Duke Ellington XO Cognac” without getting proper permission to use Duke’s name and signature on their product. The Ellington estate says that a negotiation was attempted but never completed and they want all profits earned on the $150-per-bottle liquor.
Earlier this year, a federal judge in Seattle found in favor of the Jimi Hendrix estate, and ordered the makers of Jimi Hendrix Vodka to pay $3.2 million in damages for trademark infringement. In that case the vodka was pulled from the shelves but in the case of Duke Ellington XO Cognac it seems like the spirit is already nearly impossible to find.
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