In an opinion issued today, Judge Román denied the motion by Beam Inc. and Cooley Distillery to dismiss claims brought by Sidney Frank Importing Co. over a once-successful but now defunct whiskey importing arrangement. In 2004, Sidney Frank, the U.S. importer of Jägermeister and the creator of Grey Goose vodka, had contracted with Cooley, an Irish whiskey distillery, to make and import a high-end Irish whiskey called Michael Collins Irish Whiskey. In 2011, Beam acquired Cooley and, according to the complaint, put an end to the long-standing and lucrative arrangement with Sidney Frank. The defendants argued in their motion to dismiss that the contract between Cooley and Sidney Frank had been terminated when Sidney Frank failed to extend it in writing at the end of its term in 2007. Judge Román, however, disagreed. Applying Irish law — as the contract specified — Judge Román found that the language of the contract — which stated that Sidney Frank “may give notice in writing to Cooley” of either an intent to terminate or extend at the end of the initial term — was ambiguous. Moreover, the continued course of conduct after the alleged expiration of the contract in 2007, up and until the Beam acquisition, further supported the continuing existence of contractual obligations. Judge Román also denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss unfair competition and tortious interference with business relations claims. Click here for our prior post on the case.