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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 7/1/2011

Dr Pepper Sues Texas Bottler

Emily Jed
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, vending, vending machine business

PLANO, TX -- Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. is taking one of its Texas bottlers to court for allegedly violating a license agreement.

The lawsuit charges Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin with selling beyond the six-county territory designated in its license agreement via its website and a toll-free telephone number.

The suit also seeks to terminate the bottler's use of the term "Dublin Dr Pepper" on beverage packaging and other merchandise. The bottler is marketing a version of Dr Pepper made with cane sugar as "Dublin Dr Pepper." It is one of several bottlers licensed to make the iconic drink with cane sugar, but Dr Pepper asserts that the bottler is not allowed to modify its trademark name and logo on package labeling.

"In the simplest terms, the bottler in Dublin is using a logo that is no longer authorized and is taking business from fellow Dr Pepper bottlers who play by the rules and sell within their defined territories," said Jim Johnston, president of Dr Pepper Snapple beverage concentrates. "We owe it to our other bottlers to stop these unauthorized practices."

The company's subsidiary, Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc., filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. The company said it isn't seeking damages in the case but is asking the court to require the bottler to honor its licensing agreement.

Dublin Dr Pepper said the lawsuit came as a surprise and that it is confident the beverage maker's legal action will not succeed.

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