After Reuters reported that liquor company E. Remy Martin & Co. is suing rap mogul 50 Cent‘s Sire Spirits, the rapper-turned-businessman remarked on social media that “they are afraid of me already.” The well-established brand is actually suing him for copyright infringement, saying its Branson Cognac bottle design duplicates its XO bottle in a “blatant attempt” to trade on the goodwill associated with the popular product. Remy Martin is reportedly the second-best-selling selling XO (extra old) cognac in the US behind Hennessy.
The complaint describes the Remy Martin bottle as unique, noting its “circular array of raised flat and angled quadrilateral facets” around an oval-shaped body. The design is well-known, according to Remy Martin, in part due to its “extensive advertising, promotion, and sales over the past 35 years.” The Branson bottle is “nearly indistinguishable,” according to the complaint, which goes as far as calling it a “near-exact reproduction.”
Of course, 50 is a master at rewriting narratives to benefit himself, framing the issue in terms of Remy’s competition with Hennessy. “REMY is #2 Behind Henny and worried about Branson,” he jabbed. “I’m just getting started.”