Dr Pepper bottler fights to use local label in spat with beverage giant

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dr pepper, Dr pepper snapple group

A Texas-based bottling company said it is prepared to challenge beverage giant Dr Pepper Snapple over a claim that the license agreement for its beverage product is being violated by the small firm.

Last June, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, launched a lawsuit against Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas alleging that the Dublin bottling company was selling Dr Pepper beyond the six-county territory stated in its license agreement.

The Group also seeks to end the bottler’s alleged unauthorized use of the term “Dublin Dr Pepper” on product packaging and on other merchandise.

Dr Pepper Snapple said Dublin is one of several Dr Pepper bottlers in the US to use cane sugar as the sweetener in its product, but it is the only one to use the Dr Pepper trademark in an unauthorised manner.

On August 9, Dr Pepper Dublin issued a response to the US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.

Dublin said its filing cites internal and external corporate documents from before the lawsuit was put forward that show various inconsistent positions taken by Dr Pepper Snapple.

The Texas bottler said the beverage giant had supported the Dublin brand for decades, promoting online and phone sales of Dublin Dr Pepper despite complaining of the same thing in its lawsuit.

Response

Responding to Dublin’s recent filing, Dr Pepper Snapple Group said it was disappointed the bottler had refused to keep its promises and honor its agreement.

“Dublin’s conduct dilutes our trademark and creates confusion in the marketplace, because their product is no different than any other Dr Pepper made with cane sugar and sold by several other bottlers,”​ said the firm.

Dr Pepper Snapple said Dublin’s filing had ignored the fact that majority of the product wasn’t made in Dublin, but made by Temple Bottling Co. of Temple, Texas.

The firm said it is the same cane sugar-sweetened Dr Pepper that Dr Pepper Snapple Group sells in “distinctive​” 8 oz. glass packaging throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Waco.

Dr Pepper Snapple owns the Dr Pepper brand and through its subsidiaries licenses it to more than 170 bottlers across the US and Canada.

Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin’s license territory includes Comanche County, Texas, and parts of five nearby counties in Central Texas.

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