Court Rules Any Bacardi Spying on Rival in Trademark Infringement Suit is Discoverable, Lodestar Says


LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A federal judge has ruled that Lodestar Anstalt has the right to establish whether Bacardi spied on the chairman of rival Lodestar and his wife during a trademark infringement lawsuit, Lodestar said today.

Lodestar asserts Bacardi attempted to “intimidate witnesses” by putting Lodestar’s Chairman Andre Levy and his wife under surveillance after the lawsuit was filed.

Lodestar’s suit accuses Bacardi of trademark infringement and unfair competition. Lodestar also claims Bacardi was involved in “pay-to-play” schemes designed to force smaller competitors out of the market.

“[I]nformation regarding the alleged surveillance is discoverable … through a deposition, interrogatories, or a request for production of documents,” wrote the Honorable Frederick F. Mumm, United States Magistrate Judge. The court order was dated April 6.

Crucially, Judge Mumm also dismissed a claim by Bacardi’s attorneys that any surveillance was protected by the attorney work product doctrine.

“Usually the question of the discoverability of surveillance activities requires an analysis of whether the information is entitled to protection as work product of defense counsel. Here, however, defendants’ counsel disavow any knowledge of any surveillance of plaintiff’s employees. Therefore, [it] is inapplicable,” Judge Mumm wrote.

According to the suit, Bacardi stole Lodestar’s rugged UNTAMED® image because Bacardi was “struggling to rebrand itself.” Even Bacardi’s own advertising agency said consumers perceived that Bacardi’s products were “for girls and douche bags” and that the brand had “weak equity.”

Bacardi simply “hijacked Lodestar’s trademarks, goodwill, and entire backstory” without permission and without paying compensation, the lawsuit says.

It alleges that Bacardi “cut and pasted” Lodestar’s signature and trademarked UNTAMED® advertising campaign and used it to create Bacardi’s UNTAMEABLE ad campaign. Lodestar’s UNTAMED® campaign is based on the story of The Wild Geese, a reference to hardships and acts of real sacrifice and heroism in the face of exile after the Irish Diaspora in 1691.

Bacardi has a “long history of confiscating others’ trademark rights and ideas without any compensation,” the suit says.

In a series of Open Letters in February, Lodestar’s Chairman demanded answers about Bacardi’s history of stealing trademarks, why it’s so secretive about keeping its operations out of U.S. legal jurisdiction, and inconsistencies about its heritage.

Open Letter #3 from Lodestar Wild Geese to Bacardi About (In)Consistency

Open Letter #2 from Lodestar Wild Geese to Bacardi About Secrecy

Open Letter #1 from Lodestar Wild Geese to Bacardi

About Lodestar Anstalt:
Lodestar Anstalt is the maker of UNTAMED® Revolutionary Rum, The Wild Geese Soldiers and Heroes® Irish Whiskey, and other fine liquors.

Gary J. Nelson
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
(626) 795-9900


Andre J. Levy, Chairman
Lodestar Anstalt
+41 794871795

Two photos accompanying this announcement are available at

Open Letter from Lodestar Wild Geese to Bacardi About (In)Consistency (Picture 1) Open Letter from Lodestar Wild Geese to Bacardi About (In)Consistency (Picture2)