Courtwatch: Oregon Winemaker Brianne Day fighting Ehren Jordan over use of the name Day
February 16, 2017
An Oregon winemaker is fighting a California producer in court over the name of his new zinfandel, according to court records.
Brianne Day produces Day Wines pinot noirs and other wines at her winery, Day Wines, in Dundee, Ore., under labels that read “Day.” Last year, she learned that Ehren Jordan, of Ehren Jordan Wine Cellars LLC in St. Helena, released a new Sonoma County zinfandel named “Day.”
The zinfandel label has caused confusion among customers, according to the trademark infringement complaint Brianne Day’s winery filed in December in U.S. District Court in Northern California.
“Mr. Jordan’s use of ‘DAY’ in connection with his zinfandel and other wines has already caused actual confusion between customers, and is likely to continue to cause confusion. Although Ms. Day does not make a zinfandel wine, the appearance of Mr. Jordan’s products has led to consumer inquiries to Ms. Day or distributors about her ‘new Day zinfandel.’,” wrote Day’s attorney, John Mansfield, of Portland, Ore., in a court filing.
The lawsuit pitches Day Crush LLC, the business entity that operates Day Wines, against Ehren and Ehren Jordan Wine Cellars LLC.
Jordan is fighting back. His attorney, John Dawson of Santa Rosa, has filed a motion to dismiss the federal complaint saying Brianna Day has no case, in part because she has no trademark for her wines “Day.”
The motion argues other points, including that “Day Crush, LLC dba Day Wines” is the plaintiff instead of Brianne Day, the owner of the wines’ and labels. And it is Brianne Day Winemaker LLC - and not Brianne Day - who has applied to obtain trademark protection for “Day Wines,” according to the court filing. A hearing on the motion to dismiss the case is set for May 4 in San Jose.
Day’s application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the mark “Day Wines” was suspended in December because a Paso Robles winery has an application to protect the name “Special Day Wines,” according to court records.
Day is also battling Jordan in state court. In January, Brianne Day’s Day Crush filed a separate complaint in Napa County Superior Court to reverse the state of California’s decision to allow Jordan to register the mark “Day.” Jordan’s application was approved Nov. 16.
The California Secretary of State last year turned down Brianne Day’s attempts to register the marks “Day” and “Day Wines,” according to court records.
In one letter, state officials said another company had applied for the mark “Day.” That company apparently was Jordan’s, according to court filings.
In another, the California Secretary of State, citing trademark rules, stated that Brianne Day could not register “Day,” because “it consists solely of a personal name,” according to the Nov. 28 letter.
Day Crush’s state lawsuit, which also seeks damages for the alleged trademark infringement, argues that Day Wines was the first to use the mark “Day Wines,” according to the complaint filed Jan. 24 in Napa.
Day has been producing wines under “Day Wines” since 2012, according to the complaint. Day Wines, according to the lawsuit, are now sold in Oregon, California, New York and other states.
Brianne Day’s site, www.daywines.com, was created in 2012 while Jordan’s website, www.dayzinfandel.com, was launched last year, according to the filing.
Jordan is also winemaker at Failla Wines.