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Jack Daniel
Hall Of Shame Member
Added May 21, 2008

Last Updated December 28, 2009

Jack Daniel makes a mighty fine whiskey. And, Jack Daniel has a really good reputation. So, why would a company like Jack Daniel partake in an obviously flawed and unethical campaign to ruin a Work-At-Home-Mom (WAHM)? Could it be that the corporate executives are more stupid than they look? Or, perhaps they were fed a bill of goods from their Continental Enterprises, of Indianapolis, Indiana, and their bottom-feeder corporate lawyer and general counsel, Darlene Seymour. In any event, Jack Daniel is still responsible for the reprehensible, unethical, and what we consider to be criminal activities or their Cyber Cop Continental Enterprises and their lowly General Counsel, Darlene Seymour whom we call an extortionist.

It appears that Darlene Seymour and Continental Enterprises have fallen into that urban trap of calling the company "Jack Daniel's" when it is actually Jack Daniel. The apostrophe on the label makes Jack Daniel possessive, referring to the whiskey being his. JDPI is referred to in every letter as "Jack Daniel's Properties, Inc" instead of the correct "Jack Daniel Properties, Inc". But then, there is a "Jack Daniel's Beverage Company" licensed in Tennessee. So even they can't get it right. It's no wonder they don't understand trademark law. Another question is why does Jack Daniel sell Tennessee Whiskey when it is really a corporation in Delaware? Strange.

So, you ask, what is this all about? Darlene Seymour, we've mentioned her a time or two, sent an extortionist demand letter to a WAHM who was selling the image on the left on a baby's onesie, accusing her of advertising and selling "merchandise that bears images or designs that are confusingly similar to JDPI's (Jack Daniel's Properties, Inc) trademarks without authorization". Look at the design on the left and compare it to the design on the right. Are you confused? Do you think Jack Daniel sold it? The design on the left is a parody of the label used by Jack Daniel. No reasonable or sane person would associate the parody on the left to a real Jack Daniel's product. It's absurd to claim otherwise.

A parody is permissible under federal law. The words "without authorization" refer to knockoffs or counterfeits, neither of which apply here. This is a parody. Hence, no trademark infringement. But Darlene Seymour appears to never had had let a small detail like "there's no infringement here" get in the way of a money demand. After all, she, and Continental Enterprises, have expenses. Obviously one of those expenses wasn't their recent world headquarters.

Darlene Seymour demanded some $4,700.00 from the WAHM for her non-infringing activities. An outrageous amount even if the charge were true. But, the Wicked Witch of Indianapolis doesn't just target WAHMs. A company making stickers was targeted for the following:

The company was hit up for the standard extortion demand of $4,750.00 for selling a few stickers of both. The "Jack Mormon" sticker is so obviously a parody even a moron like Darlene Seymour knows its a parody but she must really need the money because she won't let ethics stand in her way of another extortion demand. And. as we stated before, the name of the man is Jack Daniel so the sticker on the right is about someone else. And even if, a really big if, these two stickers were found to be infringing (we'll pause for the laughter to stop), the damages and expenses do not translate into the standard extortion fee of $4,750.00.

However, and it's a great however, the extortion demand did not work in this case. The company refused their demands. Maidena Fulford, Assistant General Counsel attempted to negotiate something from the company who offered to send them very little. Darlene Seymour and Continental Enterprises dropped the attempt, sending a letter withdrawing from the fight, unpaid, on January 28, 2009.

Jack Daniel, we thought you had class. Your use of Continental Enterprises proves you do not. It's really a shame. And your response to the WAHM really sucks and has no legal validity. You claimed to her that she was promoting the use of alcohol to people under age! What a crock of shit. The onesies can't be read by babies and are aimed at being funny to the adults that read them. Besides, the legal age for drinking isn't a trademark issue. You people are pathetic.

By lying about trademark infringement your acts are unethical. By demanding money or you will seek legal remedies (saying you will sue her which is a threat of harm) you are committing extortion which is a criminal act. You can argue that the letter doesn't actually say you will sue, but what other purpose is there for the wording? To invoke fear in the recipient, a person with no legal training or expertise, a person who was not doing anything wrong. You are scum.

P.S. - FYI to Jack Daniel - Darlene Seymour keeps misspelling your company's name.

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