Jack Daniel’s & Bad Spaniels: Top court takes on toy dispute

  • The US Supreme Court heard a dispute over a dog toy Wednesday
  • What is the boundary between trademark infringement and free expression?
  • A decision in the case is expected to be reached by the end of June

(NewsNation) — U.S. Supreme Court justices heard a dispute Wednesday over a dog toy parodying a Jack Daniel’s whiskey bottle. The case takes a closer look at the boundary between trademark infringement and free expression.

Justices listened to arguments from Jack Daniel’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that the “Bad Spaniels” chew toy sold by VIP Products LLC is protected by the First Amendment since it is an “expressive work.”

The dog toy features what looks like a Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey bottle with changes including a label that reads, “the Old No. 2, on your Tennessee Carpet.”

Justices are expected to reach a decision in the case by the end of June.

In the video above, “On Balance” host Leland Vittert and constitutional law attorney Tom Dupree analyze the arguments.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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