Dr Pepper Bottler To Continue Production Despite Lawsuit

18 Aug

Dr Pepper. Available to buy online in Australia from Moo-Lolly-Bar. To go there just click on this photo!A Texas soda bottler said it will fight to keep using its local label after Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS) accused the company of violating its license agreement.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group sued Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin in June, saying the small soft drink bottler was taking business away from other Dr Pepper bottlers by selling beyond its agreed-upon six-county territory.

Dublin Dr Pepper has been selling its sweet-tasting version of the soft drink since 1891. The company for years sold a cane-sugar-sweetened version of the soda in local stores and on the Internet under its own “Dublin Dr Pepper” label–another trademark infringement, Dr Pepper Snapple says.

In a response to the lawsuit, Dublin Dr Pepper called the company’s stance inconsistent, noting Dr Pepper Snapple’s corporate website had directed customers to the Dublin bottler’s home page and toll-free number as late as this year. The Texas bottler also said the company has not taken similar action against North Carolina and Missouri bottlers that have essentially marketed their products the same way.

Dr Pepper Snapple spokesman Chris Barnes said any online references would be “beside the point” after the Texas bottler allegedly violated its contract. Dr Pepper Snapple tried to resolve the issue without turning to the courts, he said, but only ran into more resistance.

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“We’re not seeking money or to prevent Dublin from selling Dr Pepper made with cane sugar,” Barnes said. “We simply want them to sell only within their six-county territory and stop marketing and packaging Dr Pepper as ‘Dublin Dr Pepper.'”

Some bottlers back Dr Pepper Snapple for tackling what they say is a growing problem with trans-shipments, in which one bottler’s soda is sold in another’s territory. Soft drink companies have long granted exclusive territorial rights to bottlers, a practice protected under the Soft Drink Interbrand Competition Act of 1980.

“Dublin Dr Pepper has had many good years in a cooperative and supportive relationship with our corporate partner to create and build an incredible consumer passion for the Dr Pepper brand,” Dr Pepper of Dublin President and Chief Executive Bill Kloster said. “All we want to do is bottle the original Dr Pepper recipe and conduct business honestly and fairly like we’ve always done.”

Article posted by Spencer Samaroo, Managing Director, Moo-Lolly-Bar
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Source: Online WSJ

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