Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Coca Cola loses bid to block Frucor’s PepsiCo bottle

Coca Cola loses bid to block Frucor’s PepsiCo contoured bottle

Dec. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Coca-Cola Co has lost its attempt to stop local rival Frucor Beverages from using a similar contour-shaped bottle for the Pepsi range of drinks in New Zealand.

In the High Court in Auckland, Justice Edwin Wylie turned down a claim that Frucor breached Coke’s registered trademarks by selling Pepsi products in a similar shaped bottle for the past four years, saying the bottles weren’t materially similar and that he did “not consider that there is any reasonable likelihood of confusion or deception,” according to a judgment published today.

The judge also didn’t agree that Frucor breached the Fair Trading Act by misleading or deceiving the public by using the bottles, because of the differences between them.

Coke claimed Frucor, which has been bottling Pepsi products in New Zealand since 1999, was in breach of three trademarks by using a similar shaped bottle, and was passing it off as a Coke product, breaching fair trading law.

Frucor rejected the claim, saying there were significant differences between the bottles, and that in every case the bottles clearly featured Pepsi’s own brands.

“In my judgment, TCCC cannot extend the scope of its registration by going on to use as a sign the silhouette derived from its registered marks when that sign is not itself registered,” Justice Wylie said.

To compare the registered marks, the judge said he had to consider them as a whole, “because the average consumer normally perceives a mark as a whole, and does not proceed to carefully analyse its various details,” the judge said.

“The primary feature the bottles have in common – namely, a waist – is not sufficient to justify a finding that there is any overall similarity between the (Coca Cola) registered mark and the (Pepsi) Carolina bottle,” he said. “The waists are not the same or even substantially similar.”

Given Coke’s more than 90 percent share of the cola market, the judge said it was in a unique position to be able to find out whether retailers had been confused by the bottle’s shape, the judge said.

Justice Wylie also questioned by Coke didn’t complain about the bottle until almost a year after its release, and that it hadn’t taken any steps in other nations where it was sold.

The judge awarded costs to Frucor, and gave Frucor 15 working days to file a memorandum on costs and disbursements. Coke will then get another 15 working days to reply.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news