27 October 2017Trademarks

New Zealand café to rebrand after Coca-Cola enforcement

A café based in Wellington, New Zealand is having to rebrand after receiving a legal threat from Coca-Cola.

Innocent Foods, a vegan-friendly café, informed news website Stuff of the issue on Wednesday, October 25.

According to the news story, the co-owners opened the eatery four months ago, selling cold-pressed juices under the Innocent name.

Coca-Cola owns the Innocent brand, a range of smoothies and food, which launched in the UK in 1999.

“The couple has a deadline of November 16 to come up with a new name. They say it will cost them almost NZ$7,000 ($4,790) after forking out about NZ$40,000 on the initial business plan,” said Stuff.

Coca-Cola, through its subsidiary Fresh Trading, owns the mark ‘Innocent’ in New Zealand under registration number 1,330,849 for classes 32 (smoothies), 29 (dairy products), and 30 (cereals and biscuits).

Innocent Foods was then inundated with new name suggestions on its Facebook page, including ‘Inner Sense Foods' and ‘Guilt Free’.

“To see everyone banding together to support us and understanding that what we are doing here is the complete opposite to what these mean greedy corporations are doing is just so beautiful to watch,” said the café.

The eatery will be re-branded in three weeks’ time.

Coca-Cola is currently in settlement negotiations with confectionery producer Haribo after a trademark dispute in the US.

Haribo had filed a trademark application for a ‘Haribo’ mark consisting of the design of a cola bottle tipped slightly to the left, with the wording ‘Haribo’ printed across the centre in brown lettering outlined in white, and covering international class 30 (confectionery).

The proceedings are suspended until November 22.

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