Frucor Beverages the New Zealand based beverage company is heading for a court showdown with rival drinks company Rio Beverages over the rights to similar brand names.

The row has erupted over the trademark name "e2" used by Rio Beverages and the Frucor brand "g2" which Frucor had planned to sell in Australia.

In a Court of Appeal judgement issued recently Rio Beverages, which is part owned by Cerebos Greggs alleged "passing off and contravention of the Fair Trading Act" and "conspiracy" against Frucor, its directors and chief executive, says a report in www.stuff.co.nz today.

Frucor is reported to have since abandoned the "g2" brand in favour of its "V" energy drink after maintaining it did not know of Rio's "e2" drink when it planned its own launch in Australia.

Richard Fyers, Frucor Beverages lawyer dismissed the Rio case yesterday as a "storm in a tea cup."

The choice of "g2" was "pure coincidence," said Fyers.

Both companies are now waiting for a decision by the Court of Appeal.