18 February 2019Trademarks

Capri Sun claims dilution in TM suit

Fruit juice maker  Capri Sun has filed a claim against a competitor for allegedly infringing the trademark covering its ‘pouch’ container.

In a complaint filed at the  US District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 14, Capri Sun accused American Beverage Corporation of breach of contract, trademark infringement and dilution and unfair competition.

Capri Sun has owned the ‘Capri Sun Pouch’ trademark for the container that its drinks are sold in since 1986.

According to the filing, ABC entered into a licensing agreement with Capri Sun to use the pouch trademark in 2016, but the licence expired in July 2018.

Capri Sun said ABC knowingly continued to sell beverages which infringed its trademark “despite expiration of the license agreement”. It also said it sent ABC “multiple protest letters”.

In its complaint, Capri Sun said it discovered ABC was using a “confusingly similar” pouch for one of its beverages in October 2018.

It said it sent a letter to ABC which highlighted a breach of the license agreement and demanded samples of the beverage, but ABC denied use of the mark.

Capri Sun said ABC’s pouch was likely to confuse or deceive the consuming public into believing that fruit-juice drinks offered in ABC's pouch are associated with Capri Sun.

Kathrin Stapper, chief legal counsel for Capri Sun, said the company had filed the action against ABC because “consumers throughout the world associate the iconic Capri Sun pouch trademark uniquely with Capri Sun”.

Stapper said Capri Sun did not want consumers “to be confused or deceived about the source or quality of products that ABC is offering under its imitation, knock-off pouch."

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