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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dr Pepper Suing Dr Pepper Over Using Dr Pepper

Plano-Based Dr Pepper Wants Dublin Dr Pepper to Stop Selling the Good Stuff Everywhere

Courtesy Flickr user Rich Anderson
Last night KXAS-Channel 5 had a most fascinating story: Dr Pepper v. Dr Pepper. Specifically, Plano-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. says the Dublin-based maker of The Real Thing (that is, a Pepper flavored with original-formula Imperial Pure Cane Sugar) is violating its 2009 licensing agreement that says the Central Texas bottler can only sell the good stuff in six counties: Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Hamilton and Bosque. Says the suit:
Using the "Dublin Dr Pepper" logo, Defendant is
selling across the United States from New York to California, throughout Texas, and in Plano,
Collin County, Texas, through solicitations on its website, a toll-free number, its Facebook page,
and to restaurants and retailers. This conduct directly violates the License Agreement's
prohibitions on sales outside of the six counties and infringes the rights of Plaintiff and its
licensed bottlers whose sales are diminished by Defendant's unlawful shipments.
As I wrote a couple of years back, when Heritage Auction Galleries was selling what was believed to be the original recipe for "Dr Pepper Pepsin Bitters," I remember well the days when my old man used to have to meet a dude in a parking lot to buy Dublin Dr Pepper -- very seedy for a soda. Then, of course, it started showing up at Central Market, and elsewhere, for around $7 a six-pack for those 8-ounce bottles-- very pricey for a soda. Then Plano-based Dr Pepper wised up last year and started selling 12-packs of real-sugar Peppers in 12-ounce cans to commemorate the 125th anniversary; Target sold the boxes of collectible cans (collect all six!) for a whole $4. Then Dr Pepper stopped, insisting it was a limited-time-only offering. My dad, who'd resisted the urge to hoard, hasn't been the same since.

Right now, you can't get the good stuff from the source via the Internet: "Many items recently on display -- including our 8 oz glass bottles and 12 oz cans -- are unavailable for internet purchase." The complaint, and one of the exhibits filed, follow. I'd recommend reading them at 10, 2 and 4.

Dr Pepper v Dr PepperExhibit in Dr Pepper lawsuit