Duck Walk winery sued; other business briefs

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LONG ISLAND


Duck Walk winery hit with lawsuit

A Long Island winery has been sued by a Napa County vineyard for allegedly breaking a previous agreement involving the use of ducks on wine bottle labels. The lawsuit, filed by St. Helena, Calif.-based Duckhorn Vineyards, says that Duck Walk Vineyards, based in Southold, has violated a settlement between the two wineries following a legal dispute in 2003. Duck Walk is part of Pindar Vineyards, Long Island's largest producer of wine. Terms of the 2003 settlement required that Duck Walk indicate on front labels that the wine originated on Long Island, limit production of wine sold under the word "duck" or a photo of a duck, and not sell more than 50 percent of the "duck"-labeled wines outside Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Duckhorn alleges that certain Duck Walk wine labels violate the agreement and that the vineyard is selling more than half of its "duck"-labeled wines outside of the tri-state area. The lawsuit asks Duck Walk to stop using the duck labels and pull back on sales, as well as pay an unspecified amount in damages. Steven Schlesinger, a lawyer for Duck Walk, said the lawsuit's allegations were "dead wrong," and that the company has hired a lawyer in California to prepare a motion to dismiss the case. -- Lisa Du


Nasdaq grants Veeco extension

Veeco Instruments Inc., a Plainview-based public company that had been warned it may be delisted from the Nasdaq Exchange due to a late quarterly filing, said Monday it had received an extension to regain compliance with the exchange. The company, which makes equipment for manufacturing LED lights, said in November it had to delay filing of its quarterly report for the period ended Sept. 30 because it was reviewing its accounting procedures for revenue on sales of certain equipment. Veeco submitted a plan to regain compliance to Nasdaq last week and was granted an extension until May 20. -- Lisa Du


NATION


Taco Bell pulls veggie-tray ad

Taco Bell is pulling a TV ad after receiving complaints that it discouraged people from eating vegetables. The ad by the fast-food chain was touting its variety 12-pack of tacos, with a voice-over saying that bringing a vegetable tray to a party is "like punting on fourth and one." It said that people secretly hate guests who bring vegetables to parties. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group, this weekend urged people to tweet their complaints about the ad, and the chain quickly made the decision to pull it. "We didn't want anyone to misinterpret the intent of the ad," says Rob Poetsch, a Taco Bell spokesman. The Center for Science in the Public Interest thanked Taco Bell for its speedy response.


Little Debbie maker is lead bidder for Drake's

Hostess has picked the maker of Little Debbie as the lead bidder for its Drake's cakes. According to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, McKee Foods has offered $27.5 million in cash for the cake brands, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels. The fate of Twinkies and other Hostess cakes is still being negotiated with other bidders. The "stalking horse" bid by McKee Foods would set the floor for an auction process that lets competitors make better offers. A judge would have to approve the final sale.


WORLD


Toyota again tops in sales

Now it's official: Toyota is once again the world's top automaker. Toyota Motor Corp. released its tally for 2012 global vehicle sales Monday at a record 9.748 million vehicles, dethroning General Motors Co., which sold 9.29 million vehicles. GM, the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008, briefly retook the crown in 2011, when Toyota's production was hurt by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. -- AP

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