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Distillery beef: Tattersall accuses Norseman of cybersquatting

Inside Tattersall, not Norseman, just so there's no IRL confusion. [Photo: Star Tribune file]

Inside Tattersall, not Norseman, just so there's no IRL confusion. [Photo: Star Tribune file]

Weird morning for anyone googling the names of northeast Minneapolis distilleries.  

A PR professional representing Tattersall Distilling informed City Pages on Friday that www.tattersalldistillery.com -- a website that Tattersall does not own -- was redirecting users to the homepage of competitor Norseman Distillery. Tattersall issued a cease and desist letter to Norseman, alleging that Norseman was behind the confusing URL situation. 

It's unclear who owns www.tattersalldistillery.com, a domain Tattersall became aware of less than 24 hours ago; Tattersall's actual website is www.tattersalldistilling.com.

"Our attorney is looking into the matter and we will be issuing a cease and desist letter to Norseman," reads a statement issued Friday morning by Jon Kreidler, chief operator of Tattersall. "Beyond ethical considerations, we believe this act constitutes trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, deceptive trade practices, and cybersquatting among other violations. We are unable at this time to comment further due to the potential of legal proceedings."

Then, a curve ball. When City Pages reached out to Norseman for comment, we were asked to email owner Scott Ervin. At that point, www.tattersalldistillery.com was re-directing to Norseman's website. About 45 minutes later, he responded, claiming that, on his end, www.tattersalldistillery.com redirects to Tattersall's proper website. Sure enough, the dubious URL now does just that. 

Ervin did not respond when asked if anyone at his distillery owns www.tattersalldistillery.com. 

Quite the intoxicating Northeast mystery! So, what's next? 

“We’re exploring what else we can do to recoup what [Norseman has] taken from us, essentially," Kreidler told City Pages by phone. "They received a pretty significant uptick in web traffic. There's an unwritten code of ethics in the industry -- you just don’t do something like this.” 

City Pages named Norseman the Best Distillery of 2017; Tattersall won in 2016