Author Receives Most Polite Cease-And-Desist Letter Ever From Jack Daniel’s
In a world where everybody and their dog is eager to sue everybody else, it's nice to see that sometimes, good old-fashioned politeness can work just as well as a giant multi-million dollar lawsuit.
Author Patrick Wensink got in a little hot water with his new book Broken Piano for President. The cover of the book bears a rather striking resemblance to the famous black label for Jack Daniel's whiskey. And apparently, the iconic Tennessee whiskey company noticed it too.
But, instead of slapping the author with a lawsuit, the Jack Daniel's company sent a rather polite cease-and-desist letter asking him to simply change the cover of his book. The company even offered to donate a large sum of money to help pay for the new cover.
So, how polite were they? Check out this snippet from the letter and see for yourself:
We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand, but while we can appreciate the pop culture appeal of Jack Daniel's, we also have to be diligent to ensure that the Jack Daniel's trademarks are used correctly. Given the brand's popularity, it will probably come as no surprise that we come across designs like this on a regular basis. What may not be so apparent, however, is that if we allow uses like this one, we run the very real risk that our trademark will be weakened. As a fan of the brand, I'm sure that's not something you intended or would want to see happen.
As an author, you can certainly understand our position and the need to contact you. You may even have run into similar problems with your own intellectual property.
In order to resolve this matter, because you are both a Louisville "neighbor" and a fan of the brand, we simply request that you change the cover design when the book is re-printed. If you would be willing to change the design sooner than that (including on the digital version), we would be willing to contribute a reasonable amount towards the cost of doing so. By taking this step, you will help us to ensure that the Jack Daniel's brand will mean as much to future generations as it does today.
How's that for Southern hospitality?