The story of two tequila brands from Austin and Kendall Jenner is going to court.

A court order says that a jury trial will start on October 4 in California. This was set by a U.S. District Court judge in the Central District of California.

Tequila 512, which is based in Austin, sued Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila in February for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The company that makes drinks in Austin says that Jenner’s brand copied its logo, colors, and name.

“And out of the entire world of colors and shapes to use for product design, Defendant chose to copy Plaintiff’s distinctive black lettering inside a vertical yellow rectangle,” the lawsuit said.

In April, lawyers for 818 Tequila filed papers with the court to answer the lawsuit. The team says that the name of Jenner’s brand comes from the area code where she lives in Southern California. The number 512 got its name from Austin’s area code. Jenner’s brand says that other brands use numbers, like Sauza 901 Tequila, which is named after Justin Timberlake’s hometown area code in Memphis, Tennessee.

The 818 portfolio includes three variations: 818 Tequila Blanco, 818 Tequila Reposado, and 818 Tequila.

“Nobody associated with 818 had ever heard of Plaintiff ClipBandits, LLC or its ‘Tequila 512’ brand until it started waging a social media campaign against 818 and then initiated this legal action,” said Ashley Yeargan, an attorney for 818 Tequila.

In court papers, 512 said that it started up in 2015 and that the celebrity brand would start up in 2021.

The Austin-based company said that it has registered 512 as a federal trademark and is in the process of getting its trade dress registered. 512 says that 818, which is owned by K & Soda, LLC, tricks and confuses customers into thinking it is part of the Austin brand.

Also, 818 costs almost twice as much as 512. Both brands’ products have won awards for how well they work. Even though there have been legal problems, 818 said it has been well received on the market. “Plaintiff saw an opportunity to try to use litigation to bully a newcomer,” said lawyers for 818 Tequila.

Jenner’s legal team said that people should not be confused. The company says that 512 does not own the idea of using a number like an area code and that the two bottles “could not be more different.”

512 is asking the court to stop 818 from using the marks that 512 says are infringing on its products, packaging, website, and other marketing materials. ClipBandits, LLC is also trying to get money from the government. K & Soda, LLC wants the court case to be thrown out.


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