Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila is a rip-off of the Texas company’s brand, lawsuit claims


In lawsuit, Austin-based tequila company says Kendall Jenner 818 Tequila “simply and blatantly” rips off its brand image.

Tequila 512, known for its distinctive, simplistic typeface and yellow label, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in California, alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition. The Austin-based company also claims that Jenner’s brand copied its logo and color scheme.

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“The Kardashian-Jenner family has struck again,” the lawsuit states. “This time, Kendall Jenner has teamed up with a new tequila brand, 818 Tequila, which intentionally copies (Tequila 512). The similarities are so striking that it can’t be the result of coincidence.

Tequila 512, whose mark was created in 2015, uses an “immediately recognizable 512 mark in black letters inside a vertical yellow rectangle,” according to the lawsuit. The company name pays homage to the Austin area code.

Austin’s Tequila 512 is suing Kendell Jenner’s 818 Tequila, alleging that his company’s product “simply and blatantly” tears at its brand image.

Trequila 512

Tequila 818 was launched last year by K&Soda LLC with Jenner as the face of the company and co-owner. Tequila 818, which pays homage to a California area code, made only “immaterial adjustments” in an effort to trick customers into thinking the two products were related, according to the lawsuit.

In one declaration at KEYE-TV, an Austin television station, 818 Tequila denied the claims in the lawsuit.

“818 does not believe these claims are substantiated,” a representative said in a statement. “We cannot otherwise comment on the matter.”

Nick Matzorkis, CEO and President of Tequila 512, urged Tequila 818 to “stand out clearly” in an interview with the TV station.

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“It goes beyond lost sales, it’s about the long-term dilution of our unique recognizable brand identity that they decided to emulate,” Matzorkis told the station.

This isn’t the first time Jenner has come under fire for her association with Tequila 818. During the company’s launch, Jenner and the 818 brand were widely accused of misappropriation of Mexican culture in promotional material. Promotional images on Jenner’s Instagram account showed her riding through fields of agave.

818 Tequila has also been lambasted for having grammatically incorrect Spanish on its labeling.

Jenner attempted to address some of the criticism in September on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

“At our distillery, where I was just the other day, we found a way to take agave waste – agave fibers and water waste – and build this durable brick that we donate actually to the community of Jalisco,” Jenner says.

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