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US: Dr Pepper Snapple Group arm sues Dublin bottler for licence violation

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A subsidiary of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) has filed a lawsuit against Dr Pepper Bottling Co of Dublin for violation of its licensing agreement.

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The lawsuit, filed by DPSG subsidiary Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc, claims the Texas-based bottler is selling the Dr Pepper beverage beyond the six-county territory stated in its license agreement.

Dr Pepper Bottling Co of Dublin's licence territory includes Comanche County, Texas, and parts of five nearby counties in Central Texas. However, DPSG said yesterday (28 June) that the bottler is violating its agreement by selling Dr Pepper beyond its territory through its website, a toll-free telephone number and to retailers and restaurants in areas licensed to other Dr Pepper bottlers.

DPSG said it hopes to also end the bottler's unauthorised use of the term 'Dublin Dr Pepper' on its product packaging and merchandise. This, the beverage giant said, suggests that the product is different from other Dr Pepper products.

"In the simplest terms, the bottler in Dublin is using a logo that is no longer authorised and is taking business from fellow Dr Pepper bottlers who play by the rules and sell within their defined territories," said DPSG's president of beverage concentrates, Jim Johnston. "We owe it to our other bottlers to stop these unauthorised practices."

In response to the lawsuit, a statement issued by Dr Pepper Bottling Co of Dublin said: "We are surprised to learn that our corporate partner has taken this action, but we are confident that this lawsuit will not succeed. It is unfortunate that Dr Pepper Snapple's attorneys are asking our overburdened court system to resolve what we believe is a business matter, but we look forward to telling our side of the story before a judge and jury, and we will continue to provide great products and great service to every one of our customers."

DPSG has said it is not seeking financial damages with the lawsuit.


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