V&S Says Absolutely Not

The owner of Swedish vodka brand Absolut has launched legal proceedings against the U.K.’s Absolute Radio because it says it’s infringing its trademark.

Drinks company V&S Vin&Sprit, which owns Absolut and the Absolut Tracks music project, has issued a writ against Absolute Radio for trademark infringement and passing off its services as if it was connected to the drink.

Last month Virgin Radio announced it would re-brand as Absolute after it was bought by the Times Of India group for £53.2 million ($93 million). The Virgin Radio brand name reverted to founder Richard Branson as part of the deal.

“The reason for this is that we consider there is a risk of confusion,” a Vin&Sprit spokeswoman told the U.K.’s The Guardian.

“We have a well-known brand and there is an obvious risk of confusion between Absolut vodka and Absolute Radio,” she said. “We have filed a complaint and now we go into the legal process.”

Absolute Radio said it’s fighting the action and was confident of winning.

The company contends the two brands can exist alongside each other and that the 5 million Absolute listeners can distinguish between the radio station and a vodka brand.