Vodka company tells Everett hair salon to change name

EVERETT, Wash. - The Absolut vodka company says an Everett hair salon named Absolut Hair needs to find a new name.

The vodka company delivered the message of a perceived trademark infringement by way of an international law firm in Los Angeles.

The owner of Absolut Hair, Jessee Skittrall, was surprised his little neighborhood salon caught the attention of the Swedish vodka giant.

"This is a hair salon -- I don't even know what the threat would be," Skittrall said.

Lawyers working on behalf of Absolut Vodka have given Skittrall until Jan. 1 to make the name change.

Absolut Hair was established in 1988 -- their name chosen apparently so it would show up first in the phone book. Skittrall inherited the name when he bought the business in 2009.

"We've been Absolut for so long, I don't know how you can just become something else all of a sudden," Skittrall said.

Skittrall estimates it would cost him $20,000 to rebrand, between the signage, material and website -- but could cost hundreds of thousands to fight in court.

"The lawyer told me if I had $300,000 to blow this might be actually fun to do," Skittrall said. "But I can't fight it." Skittrall says they simply can't just add an 'e' to the end because the vodka company owns that trademark as well.

Instead, the salon will hold a renaming contest on its Facebook page.

"I'm kind of excited we get to change the name create something that is 100 percent our own," Skittrall said.
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