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|SAZERAC BRANDS, LLC, a Delaware limited liability
company; SAZERAC COMPANY, INC., a Louisiana
PERISTYLE, LLC, a Kentucky limited liability
company; PERISTYLE HOLDINGS, LLC, a Kentucky
limited liability company,
| Nos. 17-5933/5997|
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Frankfort.
No. 3:15-cv-00076—Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, District Judge.
Argued: June 7, 2018
Decided and Filed: June 14, 2018
Before: SUTTON, McKEAGUE, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
SUTTON, Circuit Judge. Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., “the most remarkable
man to enter the whiskey industry during the post-Civil War years,” built the Old Taylor
Distillery in 1887. Once the “most magnificent plant of its kind in Kentucky,” the distillery fell
into disrepair after the Colonel’s death. Will Arvin and Wesley Murry sought to turn things
around. In 2014, they formed Peristyle to purchase the property, renovate it, and eventually
resume bourbon production there. Peristyle regularly referred to its location at “the Former Old
Taylor Distillery” or “Old Taylor” during the renovation period.
That generated heartburn for the next player in our case, Sazerac, a company that bought
the trademark rights to “Old Taylor” and “Colonel E.H. Taylor” in 2009. Sazerac objected to
Peristyle’s use of the Taylor name and sued Peristyle for infringement. Because Peristyle used
the Old Taylor name descriptively and in good faith, it finds shelter under the Lanham Act’s fair
use defense. We affirm.