'John Daly' Trademark Case: His Side of the Story
As mentioned recently in a Huffington Post online article, professional golfer and ChicagoDuffer.com friend John Daly is none-to-happy about liquor distributors and various bar establishments serving an alcoholic beverage bearing his name. Essentially an "Arnold Palmer" mixed with vodka, what started as a homemade beverage quickly gained popularity and enough attention to find itself on bar menus. However, there is one small issue: the 'John Daly' brand is trademarked as an LLC. As such, Daly even went so far as to ask his Twitter followers to send him photos and information of establishments selling drinks bearing his name. The jokes have been made and the opinions have been shared by bloggers, writers, and golf fans across the country. How can a man who once battled with alcoholism become upset about something like this? Why would he care? What harm does it do? What is Long John trying to prove?
So, I decided to ask Daly what his side of the story was regarding the issue since nobody else seemed to have anything but conjecture. Here is his response:
There are 3 major brands that distribute "Sweet Tea Vodka" & they are Firefly, Jeremiah's Tea & Mothers. They have used my name, photos and likeness to produce banners, table tents & point of sale to help sell & distribute into the market. Whether it's bars, restaurants or food fests---My name is trademarked and most of the photos used are owned by another company or myself which are also protected. None of these companies have paid me to endorse their product or have received my consent. Therefore, it has now fallen into the hands of some of the best trademark attorneys to assist in the matter. It's totally illegal and I don't like to be used. Even more strange is none of these companies even contacted me?
Hard to argue that train of thought. In fact, understanding where Daly is coming from in regard to the above is not very difficult. Daly's name and brand have been included in items such as golf equipment, food products, clothing, and even alcoholic beverages in the past. Being one of the few PGA players that are actually transparent and dedicated enough to the public, working with Daly could not possibly be any easier. Heck, this is a glorified golf fan blog at best and he has time to respond to an email. Do these bars and distributors really expect us to believe that they couldn't make a simple phone call to ask for Daly's permission?
Personally, I don't blame Daly for leaving this matter up to his lawyers. The distribution and sale of a beverage that started out as a joke among friends without even attempting to gain permission is just bad business. What's next? 'Tiger Woods'-brand condoms? It would certainly fall under the same immature premise of poking jest at a famous athlete's downfall.
(Just to declare, the above quote was used with permission.)