Popcorn Sutton Being Sued By Jack Daniels
Ellisha Rader Mannering
Popcorn Sutton was a moonshiner who lived in Parrottsville, Tennessee. Sutton was well known for making great moonshine and for the most part, avoiding law enforcement. In the 1970s and the 1990s he was put on probation. He wrote an autobiography and created a home video of himself making moonshine. Many of the popular moonshine makers today try to model their own moonshine making after Popcorn Sutton.
Sutton commited suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in in 2009 to avoid serving time in prison, but his whiskey and legacy still lived on through the Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey Company that is owned by J&M Concepts LLC and widow Pam Sutton as well as Hank Williams, Jr.
The Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey has ran into a small problem. It is being sued by Jack Daniels because the Popcorn Suttun bottle looks too much like the bottle that Jack Daniels used to bottle their whiskey.
Popcorn Sutton himself sold his whiskey in mason jars. To keep with tradition, the company also chose to distribute the whiskey this way for several years but recently decided to update their bottle.
The new bottle began to appear in stores in late 2012 and early 2013 and the Jack Daniel’s company’s suit, filed in Nashville wants the Popcorn Sutton bottle removed from the market. They are claiming the bottle is trademark infringement.
Jack Daniel’s are asking for an injunction to stop Popcorn Sutton Moonshine from using their iconic square bottle and black-and-white label. They are also asking to be reimbursed for money lost because of the bottle and trademark infringement. The companies will either appear in court or come to a settlement that will benefit both whiskey makers.
Image from Creative Commons.