When Patrick Wensink was commissioning the cover for his book, Broken Piano For President, he probably wasn’t expecting a cease-and-desist letter from Jack Daniel’s Properties — the owner of the Jack Daniel’s trademarks.
Looking at the cover for the book, it’s easy to see why the Jack Daniel’s people might take issue with the design. The typeface isn’t exactly the same, but the border and presentation is a dead-ringer for the classic black label of that sweet, sweet Tennessee whiskey.
Not this time.
In what might just be the nicest cease-and-desist letter we’ve ever seen, the people at Jack Daniel’s Properties not only politely explained the situation to Wensink, the company even offered to help pay for the cost of designing a new cover.
Jack Daniel’s Properties isn’t even forcing Wensink to take his book off the shelf. Instead, the company just wants him to change the cover when it’s reprinted.
Even better, the publicity around this rare act of lawyerly kindness might end up helping sales for Wensink’s book.
On his blog, the author says that Powell’s is already sold out of the paperback, but Amazon still has some copies in stock. In his own words, “that baby’s going to be a collector’s item.” Hey, you never know.
All we know is that if more trademark complaints were handled like this, the world might be a better place.
What do you think of the way Jack Daniel’s Properties handled this situation? Let us know in the comments.