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Yellow Tail sues Little Roo over logo

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Yellow Tail sues Little Roo over logo article image
Casella Wines is taking United States company The Wine Group to court in a bitter trade mark battle centred on its Australian kangaroo logo. Casella Wines Yellow Tail is the highest selling imported wine on the American market. It uses a distinctive Aboriginal stylised wallaby on its logo. The San Franciscan brand Little Roo's yellow and black label features a leaping kangaroo carrying a joey in its pouch. Casella managing director John Casella has accused the US group of "piggybacking" on the success of its brand in the US. "This is not just about protecting our brand. We are trying to do the right thing by our customers. There is no reason for them to be confused." The Wine Group has hit back by saying the Australian wallaby is not interchangeably referred to as a kangaroo. Casella is arguing the two marsupials would be indistinguishable to US customers. Little Roo had been on the market in America for two years before Casella filed its lawsuit, chief executive of the Wine Group David Kent said. It sells at US$6 a bottle, a fraction lower than Yellow Tail. Kent said his company chose the kangaroo to convey a strong sense of place. "There’s been an American fascination with the joey, the baby kangaroo. It’s a totally different concept." Casella said he would like to solve the trade mark issue out of court. "At the end of the day nobody wants a fight. The wine industry has enough problems without having to deal with this sort of stuff." But Kent claims The Wine Group had also hoped to settle this amicably. "We are always willing to accommodate a concrete legitimate concern. They have been unable to produce one." Casella is standing by his suit. He said Little Roo also copied the colouring, lettering and look of the Yellow Tail label. The two marsupials are both leaping off the ground and facing the same way.

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