Painkiller to Change Its Name

Source: The Voice By Chantal Martineau Thu., Jun. 9 2011 at 12:15 PM

Well, it looks like Pusser’s Rum has won its case against the Lower East Side tiki bar formerly known as Painkiller. According to The Lo-Down, the bar was forced to change its name after the rum company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit earlier this year. But will patrons really start referring to the tiki bar as PKNY, as it has now been renamed? “Probably not, at least for a while,” says one customer. The issue of whether a cocktail can be copyrighted has come up before. The distillery says it invented the Painkiller cocktail and therefore retains all rights to the name. In the lawsuit, it claimed “irreparable damage” to its brand as a result of Painkiller (and, presumably, any number of tiki bars) using the boozy rum cocktail’s name. The idea is at odds with the fraternal relationship between bartenders in this town and the lawsuit has even caused a group of bartenders and cocktailians to boycott Pusser’s. Sharing cocktail recipes is something of a cornerstone of the cocktail community in New York. It’s a shame Pusser’s didn’t quite get that. ——–

 

Painkiller’s Supporters Launch Boycott of Pusser’s Rum Source: The Lo-Down Jun 9th Bartenders have launched a boycott of Pusser’s Rum in support of Painkiller tiki bar. In response to our story yesterday, which was picked up by Eater and other major food blogs as well as the New York Times, a group calling itself “Bartenders Against Pusser’s Rum” has started a Facebook page to launch a boycott of the British Virgin Islands rum manufacturer that forced Lower East Side tiki bar Painkiller to change its name and give up its website as a result of a trademark infringement lawsuit. Painkiller owners Guiseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato settled the lawsuit in federal court late last month. “Support Guiseppe and PKNY,” the page lists as its description. “It’s lame to trademark cocktails.” It was started this afternoon by Erik Trickett and Matthew Robold, of craft cocktail bar 320 Main in Seal Beach, Ca. News of the campaign went viral on Twitter and within 46 minutes of creation, the Facebook group had 106 members. In an initial post, Robold said: “Keep inviting, spread the word, damn the man, save the empire, and so on.” A sampling of comments from members: Rocky Yeh: “I find it hard that PKNY was damaging their brand. In fact, the smart thing to do would have been to find a way to co-exist if not cross promote each other. For those of us who work with brands this is a valuable lesson in how the world communicates now and how you had better be ready for whatever consequences come your way. That, and I dislike copyrighting drinks.” Ereich Vaughn Hohenheim Empey: “Pussers is mad with power. Or rather, this liberal world of ours is mad with copyright.” Also today, NYC-based journalist Robert Simonson has some interesting background on the history of Painkiller cocktails. A second Facebook page, Bartenders and Cocktailians Against Pusser’s is also gathering supporters this afternoon

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