ExxonMobil says its signature ‘Interlocking X’ logo has been stolen by Roxx Vodka.
ExxonMobil has filed a lawsuit against the makers of Roxx Vodka for trademark infringement.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against start up Nielsen Spirits Inc., the creator and owner of Roxx Vodka, a new Polish Ultra-Premium Vodka.
The suit claims that consumers are likely to be confused by Roxx’s logo and that the same logo will cause irreparable harm to Exxon in diluting its mark. Nielsen also used the “confusingly similar” logo in promotions at Miami’s three-day Ultra Music Festival, which half a million people attended in March, according to the complaint.
Roxx Vodka is the debut product for Arizona based Nielsen Spirits Inc., which was co-founded by Angie Nielsen and Bill Ferguson.
“Defendants’ unauthorized use of the interlocking Roxx Vodka logos began after ExxonMobil’s interlocking X marks became famous,” the complaint stated, as reported by Law360. “ExxonMobil, through counsel, has notified defendants of its rights in the interlocking X marks and defendants’ infringement and dilution of those marks, but defendants have continued their use of the interlocking Roxx Vodka logos.”
Exxon, since at least 1971, has used its interlocking X’s design as part of the “Exxon” name brand, and since 1987 has used the double X as a stand-alone logo to promote its fuels, according to the company. Exxon has spent millions of dollars promoting and advertising the thousands of Exxon-branded gas stations in the U.S. that use the interlocking-X logos, including prominently featuring the logos on fuel dispensers, the company said.
Roxx released a statement, in which the startup called the lawsuit “entirely meritless.” “It is ridiculous, if not insulting, to suggest that any reasonable consumer would ever confuse the Exxon logo with Roxx’s distinguishable mark.” Roxx’s representative goes on to say that, “The day a consumer confuses Roxx for gasoline, even high test, is the day we’re out of businesses. It is equally absurd to allege that anything Roxx could ever do would result in any dilution of Exxon’s mark. We’re talking about Exxon, a global company with virtually unlimited resources, influence and power against a company of two. Even if you took the top 10 vodka producers and combined them Exxon would still be larger and more powerful and in no danger of being damaged by anything those vodka producers might do.”