Dr Pepper Snapple vs. Dublin Dr Pepper: a legal feud has erupted into a Facebook and YouTube video publicity war over a small Dr Pepper Texas bottler's 120-year old practices.
The Dublin bottler is violating its licensing deal and infringing on the trademark by selling a sugar cane sweetened version of the popular soft drink, and marketing it as "Dublin Dr Pepper."
The parent company says the bottler is effectively diluting the brand name, by changing it, and is violating its licensing agreement by selling Dr P outside of its six-county territory. The company charges that's hurting the business of other bottlers.
The Dublin bottler counters that it's been selling this version of Dr Pepper since 1891. The Wall Street Journal notes that there are some inconsistencies here:
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.
But in Central Texas, you don't want to get between someone and their Imperial sugar cane soft drink (no corn fructose, please!).