Pom Wonderful Sues Coca Cola Over Deceptive Marketing

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In a trademark infringement case, a plaintiff does not have to prove profit loss to win his case. If he can prove customer confusion and damage to his brand, he is still eligible to collect damages.

In 2008, Pom Wonderful accused Coca Cola of unfairly marketing their pomegranate juices. Coca-Cola’s pomegranate-blueberry drink was mostly apple and grape juice. In fact, the drinks contained .03% pomegranate juice and only trace amounts of blueberry juice.

Coca Cola defended the product’s marketing and packaging, stating that all five fruits in the drink were pictured in the label, and the list of ingredients was accurate. Food industry laws prevent companies from being sued as long as they correctly publish the drink’s ingredients.

In the lawsuit, Pom Wonderful claims Coca Cola falsely marketed the product to capture pomegranate sales after they achieved success with their own product. The suit is alleging false advertising, unfair competition, and trademark infringement.

Federal trademark laws allow businesses to sue their rivals if they can prove that the other party’s false marketing is hurting their commercial interests. Pom Wonderful does not have to prove profit loss if they can prove that Coca Cola intentionally caused confusion among consumers, or that Coca Cola’s inferior product damaged their brand.

Two years ago, a federal judge in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Pom Wonderful’s lawsuit, citing the food industry food labeling laws. On June 12, the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision and allowed the case to move to trial.

 

Klein Trial Lawyers—Los Angeles business litigation lawyers

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