Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News: Dr. Pepper Settles Trademark Lawsuit

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. is parting ways with its oldest bottler, after a trademark dispute soured the business relationship. According to a joint statement, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has bought all of the bottler’s sales and distribution operations under the terms of a settlement agreement.

The soda company Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. last summer, accusing it of diluting the Dr. Pepper brand by selling bottles with the label “Dublin Dr. Pepper.” It also contended that the Texas bottle company was selling the soft drink beyond its approved territory, a 44-mile radius around the rural Texas town of Dublin.

The main issue of contention was a product known as “Dublin Dr. Pepper.” The bottler used the classic formula of Dr. Pepper sweetened with the traditional cane sugar (high fructose corn syrup is commonly used today) and sold the soda in retro glass bottles. The trademark dispute arose as the product grew in popularity and Dublin began selling it on its website.

Pursuant to the settlement, Dr. Pepper Snapple will now distribute Dublin’s version of Dr. Pepper in the bottler’s former six-county territory and some other parts of Texas, without “Dublin” on the label. Meanwhile, Dublin will continue to bottle several smaller soft-drink brands, including Triple XXX Root Beer, under distribution deals with other companies.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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