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Whose kombucha is 'wild’? Baltimore-based firm sued for trademark infringement

The Wild Tonic and Wild Kombucha brands. The company behind Wild Kombucha is being sued for copyright infringement. (Court records)
The Wild Tonic and Wild Kombucha brands. The company behind Wild Kombucha is being sued for copyright infringement. (Court records)(U.S. District Court)

An Arizona-based kombucha company is suing the company behind Wild Kombucha, saying the brand infringes on a trademark they have for a similar product.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Good Omen Bottling claims that Mobtown Fermentation, the Maryland company behind “Wild Kombucha,” is infringing on the trademark for their “Wild Tonic” product.

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In the complaint filed Dec. 12, Good Omen claims that the company first registered the “Wild Tonic” trademark on Oct. 27, 2014 “for use with 'vitamin fortified beverages; nutritional supplements in the nature of probiotic drinks; dietary supplemental health drinks in the nature of vitamin and mineral beverages.”

The company claims that it also registered the trademark “for use with kombucha” on March 15, 2016.

According to Good Omen’s website, the company sells a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic kombucha beverages under the “Wild Tonic” name, including “Mind Spank,” a 7.6% alcohol by volume drink with “devilishly tantalizing notes of coffee, chocolate and maple.”

Writing that Mobtown Fermentation filed for the “Wild Kombucha” name in September 2015 and registered it Dec. 13, 2016, Good Omen claims the Baltimore kombucha brand “is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as compared with Good Omen’s registered WILD TONIC marks.”

A spokesman for Mobtown Fermentation declined to comment. A lawyer for Good Omen declined to comment.

Wild Kombucha has grown significantly since their humble beginnings selling their drinks out of a juice shop in Hampden back in 2015.

The company moved its operations from Timonium to a 13,000-square-foot space in Northwest Baltimore earlier this year and began selling products in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York City.

In the lawsuit, Good Omen claims that the goods it sells under the “Wild” brand — which extend to “Wild Love” and Wild Weed" — “are identical or essentially identical to the goods on which Mobtown has registered and uses its marks in that the goods are kombucha beverages, which are also probiotic beverages.”

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The lawsuit claims the similarities extend into the companies’ advertising of the products, with Good Omen claiming it has registered a trademark on the term “BEE WILD DRINK WILD” while Mobtown’s company website includes the line “Drink Local, Live Wild” on its “Our Story” page.

“Ultimately, the initial term WILD is dominant in both WILD KOMBUCHA and WILD TONIC, each of which begins with WILD and ends with a disclaimed descriptive term, and consumers are likely to be confused by the similarity of the marks,” the complaint reads.

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