Petty Controversy

Petty controversy: Battle of the 'Mommy' wines

Two wine labels target overworked mothers in desperate need of Chardonnay — and one is taking the rivalry to the courts

The petty controversy: Mama mia! A label war is brewing between rival winemakers who both want "mommy" on their bottles. Last week, a California-based winery filed a lawsuit in federal court, asking a judge to declare that its MommyJuice vintage does not infringe on the trademark of Mommy's Time Out, another vino marketed at harried mothers. The MommyJuice label features a cartoon of a mother juggling it all, and a slogan urging moms to "tuck your kids into bed, sit down and have a glass of MommyJuice. Because you deserve it." The relatively bleak Mommy's Time Out label depicts an empty chair at a table with a wine glass and bottle. (See the labels below.) "Mommy is a generic word that they don't have a monopoly on," says an attorney representing MommyJuice. The owners of Mommy's Time Out declined to comment.
The reaction:
"Someone's bound to come out of this current case disappointed, but sour grapes must also be pretty standard in the wine-making community," cracks Katy Steinmetz at TIME. Ugh, says Mary Beth Sammons at Parent Dish, such a needless lawsuit. "Do we really need to make a federal case out of the fact that more than one mother enjoys gulping a little Chardonnay to wind down at the end of a day?" Yeah, says Kim Conte at The Stir. "Though a judge may rule there's not room in the market for both, the irony, of course, is that there's never enough wine for mommy." Compare the labels for yourself:

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