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Ole Smoky Distillery moves to liberate term ‘Mountain Dew’ for benefit of industry


GATLINBURG, TN - With history on moonshine’s side, Ole Smoky files to open the term “Mountain Dew” for use by anyone in the entire spirits industry.

Ole Smoky, home of the world’s most visited distillery and most awarded moonshine, announced it has asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to disclaim the term “Mountain Dew” from its pending federal trademark application for the mark OLE SMOKY MOUNTAIN DEW MOONSHINE under the application serial number 86762399.

In the late 1800’s, Kentucky distiller John W. McCulloch first began selling spirits under the “Mountain Dew” brand name. Ownership of John W. McCulloch’s trademark eventually passed to his present-day ancestor John Robert McCulloch, who revived the brand and sold spirits under the name in 2011. Ole Smoky acquired Mr. McCulloch’s rights to the Mountain Dew brand in 2015 and filed to register "OLE SMOKY MOUNTAIN DEW MOONSHINE" as a trademark for distilled spirits. PepsiCo objected via opposition number 91235107 soon after in response to Ole Smoky’s attempt to register this trademark. Given the legal actions necessary to further the case, Ole Smoky has now decided to release what it claims to be its exclusive rights to “Mountain Dew” in spirits.

“Ole Smoky Distillery was founded with the historical understanding that ‘Mountain Dew’ means moonshine and we strongly believe that no single corporation, including Ole Smoky, should have a monopoly over its use for moonshine,” said Joe Baker, Founder of Ole Smoky Distillery LLC. “We know the term Mountain Dew evokes different cultural interpretations and references, but that does not void its original meaning and historical connection to spirits and moonshine culture.”

For more information, please visit olesmoky.com and follow Ole Smoky on social media @olesmoky.


Published March 22, 2019



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