Last week PepsiCo, the owners of soft drink mega brand ‘Mountain Dew’, lost a 15year-long trade mark dispute with Indian based drinks firm ‘MagFast Beverages’.
The lengthy battle began when the multi-billion dollar company PepsiCo filed a trade mark infringement suit against Magfast Beverages who were selling packaged drinking water bottles called ‘Mountain Dew’ in India. Magfast Beverages disputed the claim by arguing that it had already started selling the water in the year 2000; 3 years prior to PepsiCo launching the soft drink in India.
By return, PepsiCo contended that they had registered the ‘Mountain Dew’ trade mark in the US in 1940 and later registered the trade mark under soft drinks in India in 1985. PepsiCo further claimed that the use of the ‘Mountain Dew’ name would cause confusion amongst members of the public however, no evidence of confusion was put forward to the court.
The District Judge at Hyderabad, India, disagreed that the two products would cause confusion as they were sizably different from one another and further affirmed that Magfast Beverages were not infringing as at the time, the ‘Mountain Dew‘ drinking water was already established in India prior to PepsiCo marketing the soft drink within the country therefore, the infringement suit filed by the soft drink giant was dismissed.
PepsiCo India spokesperson issued a statement saying: “PepsiCo is the registered owner of the trademark Mountain Dew in India since 1985 and continues to be so. PepsiCo’s trademark rights in Mountain Dew have not been affected in any manner due to the orders passed by City Civil Court Hyderabad. PepsiCo has been advised that it has strong grounds for challenging the orders passed by City Civil Court Hyderabad in appeal, both on facts as well as on law, and we are in process of filing the Appeal before the High Court.”