US: Red Bull files for trademark investigation
Red Bull has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against six companies, accusing them of infringing its trademark rights.
The complaint by Red Bull GmbH and Red Bull North America was made public by the ITC today (18 June).
A Red Bull spokesperson told just-drinks that it believes the companies - Chicago Import, Lamont Distribution, India Imports, Washington Food and Supply of DC, Vending Plus, and Baltimore Beverage - were importing and selling grey market Red Bull intended for sale in countries other than the US.
Red Bull said it is also seeking a general exclusion from the ITC to stop the entry of all grey market Red Bull product into the US.
"Red Bull has initiated this campaign to stop grey market Red Bull product to protect its US distributors as well as US consumers," a spokesperson said. "In the US, consumers find grey market Red Bull product to be confusing because they are written in foreign languages, contain over-labelled stickers and are generally at odds with US consumers expectations."
The complaint follows a recent permanent injunction by Red Bull against Kassir Import-Export Company, which was barred from selling, importing or distributing grey market Red Bull, again based on trademark infringement, copyright infringement, trademark dilution and various other counts.
Last month, Red Bull moved to calm public fears following the discovery of traces of cocaine in its cola drink in Germany.
Since the reports, a ban of the company's Simply Cola brand has been noted in six German states, Jordan and Hong Kong, with many other countries also examining the cans for traces of the drug.
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