Trademark Fight: Michter’s Responds, Bomberger’s Calls It ‘Legal Wrangling’

Earlier this week, I broke the trademark fight over “Bomberger’s” between Chatham Imports, the parent company of Michter’s, and Bomberger’s Distillery, the upstart company in Pennsylvania.

Today, Joseph J. Magliocco, president of Chatham Imports Inc., provided a written statement to “clarify” his company’s position.

“We were surprised to see that confidential legal correspondence regarding the Bomberger’s trademark was leaked to the press this week,” Maggliocco wrote. “We never have and will not now engage in a public discussion of issues that should remain strictly confidential. We wholeheartedly believe in good faith that both the facts and the law support our rights to the brand Bomberger’s Declaration. Although we hope that legal action is not necessary to resolve this matter, we are highly confident that the courts will agree with us.”

Chatham operates its Michter’s facility in Kentucky, while Bomberger’s Distillery is based in Lancaster County, Pa.

Bomberger’s and Michter’s were both made in Schaefferstown, Pa., at a former National Historic Landmark distillery that dated back to 1753. Before it was the Michter’s Distillery, it was the Bomberger’s Distillery. provided a good summary of new company, Bomberger’s Distillery.

Chatham acquired the abandoned Michter’s trademarks in the early 1990s and has since been making Michter’s with Kentucky whiskey. Last year, Chatham built the new Michter’s Distillery in Shively, Ky., and launched the brand, Bomberger’s Declaration.

I read the Chatham statement over phone to the Bomberger’s Distillery co-founders Erik Wolfe and Avianna Ponzi Wolfe. “It’s just them using further legal wrangling to export our local history,” Erik Wolfe said. “We are just trying to keep local history local. If they were concerned about preserving Bomberger’s history, they’ve had a long-time to do so. They have made no effort to preserve any aspect of Bomberger’s history in Pennsylvania.”

Magliocco did not say whether Chatham will file suit, but said the company will “protect” its whiskey and brands, adding: “While we wish them well, we simply expect companies to respect one another’s intellectual property rights.”


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