Tianfu Cola Group Corp has won a lawsuit against the China unit of PepsiCo on charges that its former joint-venture partner stole the recipe for its beverage, according to reports.

A court in Chongqing has ordered PepsiCo China Investment to "immediately stop selling" Tianfu Cola and "return the recipe", Shanghai Daily reported yesterday (9 December). The court rejected Tianfu's request for CNY1m (US$150,000) in damages.

It is understood that Tianfu will file another lawsuit to reclaim the Tianfu brand on the grounds that the transfer of the brand to the joint venture, Chongqing Pepsi-Tianfu Beverage Co, was invalid, according to the report.

Tianfu set up the joint-venture with PepsiCo in 1994, however because of its debts, in 2006 Tianfu had to sell its 40% stake in the joint venture to PepsiCo, while the brand of Tianfu Coke was left in the joint-venture.

PepsiCo was not available to comment on the reports when contacted by just-drinks.