Two wineries – Zonte’s Footstep and Dandelion Vineyards – have gone head to head in a legal battle over the trademark name ‘Peacock’s Fan’ to sell wine overseas in the United Kingdom.
The man who ties them both together is Zar Brooks. This well-known winemaker and marketing guru is also the former company director of McLaren Flat-based Zonte’s Footsteps. He is currently the company director of Dandelion Vineyards; the winemaking company accused of using Zonte’s Footsteps trademark name.
Zonte’s Footsteps allege that its former director had trademarked the name back in 2010 and had assumingly done so correctly.
It turns out, this is may not be the case.
“In 2014, it came to the attention of management of the plaintiff that the trademark PEACOCK’S FAN trade mark application had been mistakenly made in the name of Dandelion instead of the plaintiff,” as confirmed in a statement of claim.
After this realisation, Zonte’s Footstep claims that they wrote to Mr Brooks lawyers to correct the “error”, but they received no reply.
To their dismay, it was maintained that Dandelion Vineyards began to market its wine to the UK using the trademark PEACOCK’S FAN in October 2014.
Currently, Marks and Spencer are selling Dandelion’s Clare Valley Malbec, 2013, for £14 ($29), using the trademark PEACOCK’S FAN.
As a result, Zonte’s Footsteps suffered financial loss, as Dandelion Vineyards are “direct competitors”.
They state, “Dandelion had not been involved in any respect with the mark until October 2014. It did not conceive the mark, instruct or pay for its design, or sell or market the brand or stage name represented by the mark.
“Dandelion is continuing to utilise the trademark in flagrant disregard of our client’s ownership of it.
“This further use has come to our client’s attention recently. Mr Brooks has arranged shipments of wine to Marks and Spencer UL bearing the trademark but on bottles produced and bottled by Dandelion.”
Zonte’s Footsteps allege, “Mr Brooks has no authority to use our client’s label and is well aware that the trademark is properly owned by the client.”
However, Dandelion denies this allegation of using the trademark name, as there was “no error” made in the trademark process of PEACOCK’S FAN.
This case will continue in court at a later date.