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Supreme Court sides with Jack Daniel’s in trademark dispute involving a poop-themed dog toy

(AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)

(CNN) — The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with Jack Daniel’s in a dispute over a poop-themed dog toy that parodies its iconic liquor bottle.

The ruling was unanimous.

Though the court’s decision is a win for Jack Daniel’s – which argued that an appeals court erred when it said the parodic toy was “non-commercial” and therefore enjoyed constitutional protection – the justices declined to grant the distiller’s request to throw out the test an appeals court used when it ruled in favor of the toy, a move that would have given trademark holders wide latitude to sue companies that parody their marks on consumer goods.

At the center of the case is the toy created by VIP Products that is strikingly similar to Jack Daniel’s bottles. The distiller sued the company over the toy – which is replete with scatological humor – claiming it violated federal trademark law, which usually centers around how likely a consumer is to confuse an alleged infringement with something produced by the true owner of the mark.