Way back in 2006 we mentioned that a cognac using Duke Ellington's name was going to be launched but now three years later his family has filed a federal lawsuit in New York.
The family of the music legend says that Harbrew Imports
used the name "Duke Ellington XO Cognac" without getting proper permission to use Duke's name and signature on their product. The Ellington estate says that a negotiation was attempted but never completed and they want all profits earned on the $150-per-bottle liquor.
This case reminds me a little bit of the case of Electric Hendrix vodka
, a vodka bearing the likeness of Jimi Hendrix. Earlier this year, a federal judge in Seattle ordered the makers of the vodka to pay $3.2 million in damages for trademark infringement. In that case the vodka was pulled from the shelves but in this case it seems like the cognac is already nearly impossible to find.