By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
It's easy to see how this use of the word gallo in a wine marketing campaign could potentially result in a fog of consumer confusion. But is it reasonable to conclude the use of the word gallo in simple pattern descriptions for cups and pots would fluster consumers?
"That would seem to be quite a stretch," says Frank Vecella, a longtime Dallas trademark lawyer who is currently associate general counsel for Ericsson Inc. "That would strike me as quite an uphill battle to show actual infringement...Is somebody looking at that Web site and mistakenly thinking that the Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery is behind this?"
At this point, it doesn't matter. The force of Gallo's corporate heft proved too much for King and her fledgling Internet business, even though she believes she would have prevailed in court. She has since changed all "gallo" references on her Web site to "galleto," which means little rooster in Italian. She has also agreed to other undisclosed concessions as part of a settlement with the winery. "I have a small daughter who requires a lot of care," she laments. "I have a family. I'd like to not have to deal with this for the next however many years of my life."