Soloviova Liudmyla /
5 January 2015Trademarks

Appeals court hands Pom Wonderful trademark lifeline

A US appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling that would have stopped pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful blocking a rival from selling an energy drink it claimed was similarly labelled.

LA-based Pom Wonderful had sought a preliminary injunction against Pur Beverages, which had been marketing an energy drink using the word “Pŏm”, but its case was rejected.

But in a December 30 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that the US District Court for the Central District of California erred when it ruled that confusion between the two products was unlikely.

In that district court hearing, judge Margaret Morrow said Pom Wonderful was unlikely to show that shoppers would be confused by the products, because they had different packaging.

But, on December 30, following an appeal against the decision by Pom Wonderful, a three-judge panel said Morrow "clearly erred" given that the products' names were "visually, aurally, and semantically similar", and that the drinks were marketed to similar consumers at similar prices.

Pom Wonderful began using the ‘Pom’ trademark for beverages in 2002 and has since sold more than 190 million bottles of its pomegranate juice.

The ninth circuit added: “Before 2002, when Pom Wonderful first began using the Pom ... trademarks in connection with beverages, no-one in the industry was known to have used the term ‘pom’ in any way.”

The case will now be sent back to the district court, which was told to determine whether Pom Wonderful is entitled to an order barring Pur Beverages’ use of the word “Pom”.

Neither Pom Wonderful nor Pur Beverages responded immediately to a request for comment.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at