Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor

Expand Messages
  • tony@oyatemusic.com
    DESCENDANTS OF CRAZY HORSE FILE SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT Sioux Falls, SD - November 6, 2000 - The Estate of Tasunke Witko (aka Crazy Horse) last week filed
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      DESCENDANTS OF CRAZY HORSE FILE SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT
      Sioux Falls, SD - November 6, 2000 - The Estate of Tasunke Witko
      (aka Crazy Horse) last week filed suit in federal court against
      Hornell
      Brewing Company and Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons, the makers of "The
      Original
      Crazy Horse Malt Liquor." The Estate's complaint alleges causes of
      action
      under federal, state and Lakota law, including disparagement and
      defamation
      of the spirit, false designation of origin and false endorsement,
      trademark
      dilution, violations of rights of publicity and privacy, and of the
      Indian
      Arts and Crafts Act.
      Crazy Horse, the most revered of Lakota spiritual and political
      leaders, was outspoken against the use of alcohol by his people.
      According
      to the complaint, the use of the Crazy Horse name "in association
      with and
      promotion of a high-potency alcoholic beverage is exploitive and
      degrading
      to the person, name, spirit, memory and family of Crazy Horse, and to
      the
      property of his Estate." The complaint further states that the
      Estate, as
      the owner of the property rights to the name of Crazy Horse, seeks
      redress
      for defendants wrongful appropriation of that name for their own
      financial
      gain. Seth H. Big Crow, Sr., Administrator of the Estate
      proclaimed, "they
      have stolen his name from us and slapped it on a bottle of beer...we
      can
      never allow his name to be used like this."
      From the time they introduced "The Original Crazy Horse Malt
      Liquor," the defendants, who also make the well-known Arizona Iced
      Teas,
      were confronted with opposition to their use of the name of the
      revered
      Lakota leader. In 1992, the US Surgeon General, House of
      Representatives
      and the Senate expressed their outrage at the use of the name on a
      malt
      liquor.
      Indeed, the House and the Senate passed a bill, signed by President
      Bush,
      to ban this use of the name Crazy Horse. A federal court later found
      that
      law to be unconstitutional.
      The defendants have also twice applied for trademark registration
      for the name of the product. Each time, the United States Patent and
      Trademark Office rejected the application. The Patent and Trademark
      Office
      specifically stated that the mark was rejected "because [it] consists
      of or
      comprises matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or
      disrepute the
      renowned Oglala Sioux chief, warrior, and spiritual leader, Crazy
      Horse."
      The Estate originally brought an action against Hornell and
      Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons in the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court. A
      federal
      appellate court held that the tribal court lacked jurisdiction to
      adjudicate
      the dispute, suggesting that the federal courts would be the proper
      forum.
      In front of the federal courthouse in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Mr.
      Big Crow stated, "This is a great day for the family of Crazy Horse.
      We have
      filed this litigation in federal court and we will continue until we
      get his
      name off of that malt liquor."
      Attorneys with the firm of Morrison & Foerster are representing the
      Estate of Tasunke Witko on a pro bono basis. Morrison & Foerster has
      one of
      the largest intellectual property practices of any general practice
      firm.
      In addition, the firm has a long history of commitment to providing
      free
      legal services to indigent persons and in matters of public interest.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.