Red Bull's German division and packaging supplier Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner are being sued by world PET plastics giant M&G Group over an alleged patent infringement.

M&G subsidiary Cobarr has filed a lawsuit against the energy drink maker and its supplier, accusing them of using materials that infringe one of its German patents.

A judge has refused Alpla's request for the case to be dropped, according to Cobarr.

Italy-based M&G said yesterday (2 April) on Cobarr's behalf: "The M&G Group feels that as a pioneer to many patented aspects of the barrier solutions now being offered in the market, the market needs to respect M&G's contribution."

Red Bull Germany and Alpla have until 2 June to submit their responses to a German court. Cobarr will then have until 2 November to file its response, with an oral court hearing scheduled for 28 January 2010.

A spokesperson for Red Bull at its global headquarters in Austria could not be reached for comment this morning (3 April).