Elon Musk decided to do a tequila called "Teslaquila." In October, in the midst of losing chairmanship in his company and getting sued for calling one of the Thai cave rescuers a pedophile, he filed a patent for a "distilled agave liquor" and a "distilled blue agave liquor. He promised Teslaquila was "coming soon," and shared an image of what the bottle might look like.
Just like scotch must be distilled from water and malted barley in Scotland and aged for at least three years to be called scotch, and bourbon must be at least 51 percent corn and aged in new oak barrels to be considered bourbon, there are rules for making tequila. By definition, tequila can only be distilled in certain Mexican states and it must be at least 51 percent blue agave. It's strictly regulated.
In other words, you can't go throwing around the word "tequila" and hoping no one notices. But that's what Musk did with Teslaquila, which very obviously sounds like "tequila," and Mexican tequila producers noticed.
“If [Tesla] wants to make Teslaquila viable as a tequila it would have to associate itself with an authorized tequila producer, comply with certain standards and request authorization from Mexico’s Industrial Property Institute,” said Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), which keeps a close eye on this stuff, in a statement reported by Reuters. “Otherwise it would be making unauthorized use of the denomination of origin for tequila."
Tequila, the CRT said, is a "protected" word.
On the one hand, Mexico is an entire country with a proud tequila tradition to protect. On the other hand, Musk is a billionaire with a vision, a blasé attitude about rules, and some free time on his hands. We'll see how this plays out.
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