TOBIAS FORGE's Attorney On GHOST Vodka Lawsuit: This Case Is 'About Trademark Rights'

TOBIAS FORGE's Attorney On GHOST Vodka Lawsuit: This Case Is 'About Trademark Rights'

An attorney for GHOST leader Tobias Forge has responded to reports that the makers of a "hand-crafted, ultra-premium" British vodka called Ghost are being sued by the Swedish occult rock band over the use of the name. GHOST — the band — has also marketed a gin using the group's name, which could conceivably have caused marketplace confusion. The vodka company, which launched in June 2015, claims that Forge and his representatives have known about their product since 2016.

Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk, legal counsel and trademark specialist for the firm GOZZO Advokater, which is representing GHOST in the dispute, released the following statement to Loudwire regarding the matter: "Svensk Drama Pop (SDP) holds an exclusive trademark registration throughout the European Union for the figurative sign 'Ghost.' Those rights are licensed to Global Merchandising Services Ltd, in whose interest these proceedings are brought. This case has been on-going for months now, and numerous attempts have been made throughout that period of time to reach an amicable settlement.

"This case is not about 'gin vs. vodka,' it's about trademark rights that grant ownership for any and all alcoholic beverages — gin, whiskey, wine, beer, ale, vodka, etc. For any other EU-based entity to use the word 'Ghost' as part of its alcoholic beverage brand name would be in violation of SDP's exclusive rights. SDP is entitled to defend these rights as any other business would when their trademark rights have been infringed. That is standard procedure."

BLABBERMOUTH.NET first reported on the legal claim on Tuesday, and one day later, Ry Leon, the sales director for Ghost Drinks Ltd., provided further information on the dispute in an effort to "clear up a few rumours going around."

He wrote in part: "The band take umbrage to Ghost Vodka (trading since 2015) being allowed to title their brand as such, feeling they should have exclusive use of the word 'ghost' across a multitude of different sectors. This is despite their primary business and income deriving from music and not having a competing product in this sector.

"Ghost Vodka was conceived in 2013 and we launched in June 2015 at Fortnum & Mason in London. Hardly going for the rock metal crowd here. Since then we have nurtured our business to have a presence in 36 countries. At the time of launching we had never heard of the band or Tobias Forge.

"We believe Tobias Forge needs the money having recently settled another case out of court. Having observed us since 2016 he now feels that we might have the funds available to provide him with a decent sized settlement. The money made from selling their gin is negligible, the volumes just aren't there. He should stick to what he's good at.

"Until the end of last year we had never heard of Tobias Forge. Having looked into his background, this is all entirely within character. If he can screw over his own bandmates, he will have now qualms in coming after a small, independent business.

"We respect his success and we can understand how hard he has worked to get where he is, however, there is no excuse for this kind of shitty behaviour on his part."

In 2015, GHOST collaborated with Sweden's Nils Oscar Brewery on two beers: Grale and Lincopia.

Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of GHOST's first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of 2018's "Prequelle" album.

Last October, Forge confirmed to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine that there would be a new character fronting GHOST by the time the group's next LP sees the light of day.

"Prequelle" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and featured the chart-topping singles "Rats" and "Dance Macabre".

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