South Beach Beverages, LLC., ("SoBe") maker of SoBe beverages announced yesterday that Judge Lawrence M. McKenna of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York has issued a decision dismissing all claims pending against SoBe and CEO John Bello, in the suit by the makers of AriZona beverages (Beverage Marketing USA, Inc.). The lawsuit, which has been pending since 1997, alleged that SoBe's bottle design violated AriZona's copyright and trademark rights and that SoBe had otherwise engaged in unfair business practices.

In a ten-page opinion, Judge McKenna granted SoBe's motion for summary judgment on all federal law counts and dismissed all state law claims, for lack of jurisdiction. In addressing the federal law claims Judge McKenna found that as a matter of law there was no substantial similarity between SoBe's bottle and that of AriZona's, and that there was no actual or likelihood of confusion between the bottles. The judge further found that AriZona's bottle was not sufficiently famous to support a dilution claim, that no dilution had occurred and that SoBe had not engaged in any deceptive commercial practice.

"We have maintained all along that this suit was nothing more than AriZona's desperate attempt to use the courts as a sword to scare off legitimate competition in the market place" said John Bello, co-founder and CEO of SoBe. "We are obviously very pleased that Judge McKenna has recognized that these claims are baseless."

The opinion is on file in the Southern District of New York in the matter of Beverage Marketing, USA, Inc. vs. South Beach Beverage LLC., docket number 97CIV4137(LMM)

Established in 1995, South Beach Beverage Company, Norwalk, Conn., is a privately held company which produces and markets a line of ready-to-drink, non-carbonated juice blends and teas under the brand name "SoBe(TM)." All SoBe Beverages combine great taste with herbs, minerals, vitamins and other nutrient-enhancers which make them unique in the beverage business.