Kentucky Mist Moonshine has finally been able to register trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The small Whitesburg company had been engaged in battle with the University of Kentucky over its attempt to register in a trademark category that includes hats, hooded sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shirts, shoes and socks.
On Oct. 11, the company’s trademarks were registered for Kentucky Mist Moonshine for hats and shirts as well as for distilled spirits. The trademarks include a disclaimer stating that “no claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘Kentucky’ and ‘moonshine’ apart from the mark as shown” on the trademark register.
The dust up between the small moonshine business and the public university began in fall, 2015. The trademark category that was in dispute is one in which UK has long claimed use of the word “Kentucky” to identify its athletic uniforms and articles of clothing sold to fans.
UK had wanted Kentucky Mist to stop trying to register its products in that category. Kentucky Mist had sought a court ruling that there is no infringement by Kentucky Mist’s use of the word “Kentucky.”
The suit was dismissed in June by U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, saying that there was no “actual controversy.”
“Moonshine was never an issue,” UK spokesman Jay Blanton said in an e-mail Monday afternoon. “We are still reviewing the question with respect to clothing.”
Among the trademarks UK still holds are those for clothing, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, polo shirts, athletic jerseys and shorts. It also holds trademarks for the interlocking UK logo for magazines; food containers; glassware and clothing; golf clubs and other athletic equipment and toys; and education services.