Blake's defends use of 'Traffic Jam' for new cider
On Tuesday longstanding Detroit restaurant and microbrewery Traffic Jam & Snug filed a federal lawsuit against Blake's Hard Cider Co.
The complaint alleges that Blake's is in violation of trademark laws by calling its new berry cider Traffic Jam.
“Blake’s use of Traffic Jam’s 'Traffic Jam' mark in the manner described is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or to deceive consumers as the affiliation, connection or association of Blake Farms with Traffic Jam,” the lawsuit argues.
Blake's Hard Cider founder Andrew Blake released a full statement Thursday addressing the lawsuit.
"It is unfortunate that Traffic Jam & Snug moved so quickly to litigation after sending their cease and desist letter as it did not allow the parties to discuss an amicable resolution to the issue."
In the statement Blake, who founded the hard cider company in 2013 and whose family has owned Blake Farms in Armada for decades, says they don't agree with the allegations.
"Traffic Jam & Snug does not have a federal trademark for ‘Traffic Jam’ and any common law right they might have are extremely limited given their business model, their use of the alleged mark and the geographic scope in which they operate," he said in the statement.
"Nobody likes litigation and certainly litigation between two companies with such strong ties to Detroit is even less pleasant. While we were not given the opportunity to attempt to resolve the issue before litigation was commenced, we at Blake’s are hopeful that the parties can still come to a resolution which allows both to continue to use the name."
Blake's released Traffic Jam, a semi-sweet strawberry, blackberry and raspberry cider earlier this spring. The hard cider company distributes to 18 states and has dozens of products.