Jack Daniel's case against dog toy maker heads to Supreme Court

The maker of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey is up against the maker of a squeaky dog toy that looks a lot like the whiskey company's signature bottle. 

The legal showdown is happening before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It's not just a joke," said Courtney Armour, the chief legal officer for the Distilled Spirits Council. She said the doggy toy may seem funny and harmless but products like these that mimic major brands tarnish their image and could be dangerous in some cases. 

"You can see T-shirts that are glamorizing blacking out or using alcohol as a form of mental health treatment," Armour said. "These are all things that we work very hard to not promote with our products."

The lead attorney for Jack Daniel's, Lisa Blatt, said everyone likes a good joke but if the toy maker is allowed to confuse consumers with its dog toys then "other funny infringers can do the same with juice boxes or marijuana-infused candy."

The doggy toy maker is VIP Products out of Arizona. The company believes it has a First Amendment right to parody the famous whiskey bottle. The bottle-shaped toy is labeled "Bad Spaniels on Your Tennessee Carpet" in a typeface that mimics the label on a Jack Daniel's bottle. 

"It is ironic that America's leading distiller of whiskey… lacks a sense of humor" and has "waged war," VIP Products said.

Robert Greener, a trademark and copyright lawyer, told FOX 5 NY that Jack Daniel's might end up winning the case. 

"Does the parody actually dilute their brand and, in a way, it kind of does," Greener said. "It's a very conservative court that we have right now. So there is a good chance they will side with the corporation."