PepsiCo India may receives a lawsuit from US-based organic juice maker Apple Rush Company after the drinks giant launched an Apple Rush variant to its Tropicana Twister's line in India, according to reports.

The Illinois-based Apple Rush Company has objected to the brand name and threatened legal action, branding PepsiCo's actions as "unfair business practice."

Apple Rush Company president Robert Corr told the Economic Times today (19 May): "We are retaining a lawyer in India to assist us against Pepsi. The brand 'Apple Rush' should be for our stockholders not Pepsi's."

Apple Rush claim the soft drink giant has "usurped its American brand by using it in India to promote its new drink". A statement issued by Corr read: "We were shocked to discover that Pepsi would take our brand and use it for one of their drinks in the Indian market."

"Pepsi is using a legal loophole to essentially diminish our brand's integrity oversees," Carr's statement said.

When contacted by just-drinks, a PepsiCo India spokesperson said: "We have not received any letter or communication yet on the alleged objection and don't believe we have infringed on anyone's rights".

While PepsiCo's Tropicana Twister is available in the US in a range of flavours, including Tropical Fruit Fury and Strawberry Lemonade, the Apple Rush variant has been introduced in India for the first time.

Apple Rush's mainstay product, Organic Apple Rush, sells sparkling beverages in a range of flavours in the US and some other markets.

This is the second controversy surrounding PepsiCo's Tropicana brand in the past month. Recently, PepsiCo's endorsement deal with the Indian Medical Association for Tropicana came under fire from the health ministry and social organisations.