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• Pusser’s forces NYC bar to change name

13 Jun

NEW YORK — The tiki-themed craft cocktail bar Painkiller has changed its name to PKNY. It hadn’t planned to, of course, but that’s the legal biz.

The change came about as a result of a lawsuit filed by Pusser’s Rum Ltd. that claimed the name which is its long-popular tropical cocktail. In the lawsuit filed April 12 in U.S. District Court, Pusser’s — which sells rum, cocktail mixers and rum products such as cakes under the brand name “Painkiller” — sued bar owners Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato, claiming all sorts of nastiness such as irreparable harm to its brand, unfair competition, yada yada. It demanded the bar stop using the name for its business or any of its drinks.

The claim was helped along because Pusser’s holds two U.S. trademarks for the name “Painkiller,” one for “alcoholic fruit drinks with fruit juices and cream of coconut and coconut juice,” and one for “non-alcoholic mixed fruit juices,” which they market as “Pusser’s Painkiller Cocktail Mix.”

In a consent order recently signed by both, Gonzalez and Boccato, along with their corporate entity, Essex Street Bar & Lounge Inc., agreed to be “permanently restrained and enjoined” from using the trademarked term Painkiller or “any other confusingly similar term” in association with any bar, restaurant, grill, lounge or other establishment, or any “beverage, libation or cocktail” unless it is made with Pusser’s rum. They also agreed not to use the term in any marketing or advertising materials, and to give up their website domain within 45 days of the order, though the court did not require them to turn it over to Pusser’s.

We now are waiting for Donna Karan to bitch about the bar’s use of PKNY, which is very close in print and sound to that fashion giant’s DKNY brand.

PKNY, which opened in May 2010, is located at 49 Essex Street, on the Lower East Side.

(Our thanks to Jacob Grier, bartender and writer of Liquidity Preference, for reporting on The Daily Blender the outcome of the case.)

By the way, if you’re interested in whipping up a Painkiller of your own, here’s the recipe:

2 ounces Pusser’s Navy Rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce cream of coconut

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a dash or two of nutmeg.

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