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Dr Pepper family feud erupts in Texas (video)

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Business Wire

(Read caption) The Dr Pepper lawsuit is about what's on the bottle and where it's sold. Shown are the packaging used by Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas, (L) and approved packaging found on cane sugar-sweetened Dr Pepper sold elsewhere in Texas.

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There's a Dr Pepper feud in Texas that's leaving many with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, the parent company, is suing a small Dr. Pepper bottling company in Dublin, Texas.

The charge?

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.

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