8 October 2020TrademarksMuireann Bolger

PepsiCo loses ‘Mountain Dew’ trademark dispute in India

India-based drinks company MagFast Beverages has secured a victory against Pepsico in a long-running dispute over the trademark ‘Mountain Dew’.

According to MagFast Beverages chairman Syed Ghaziuddin, the company started selling packaged drinking water named ‘Mountain Dew’ in 2000.

In 2003, PepsiCo launched its soft drink product in India under the same name. A year later, the company sued MagFast Beverages at the Delhi High Court, claiming that its trademark had been infringed.

After the suit was dismissed, PepsiCo continued to allege that MagFast Beverages had  infringed its trademark. Ghaziuddin then requested that the Supreme Court of India transfer the case to Hyderabad as MagFast Beverages was located in that jurisdiction, and not in  Delhi.

After being allowed to fight the case from Hyderabad, the two companies became embroiled in a 15-year legal battle.

Ghaziuddin told the court: “In 2000, I started a company to sell water to the people of Hyderabad as well as India. And that is when I started…‘Mountain Dew’ for my packed drinking water.”

He added that due to the quality of the product, the brand name had achieved national recognition in India, and the authenticity of his product had been verified by a court-appointed advocate commissioner.

After the court sided in his favour, Ghaziuddin claimed that PepsiCo owed damages and claimed victory on behalf of all indigenous businesses in India.

“PepsiCo filed an undertaking by stating that if the case filed is lost by the PepsiCo company, then the company is ready to pay the required compensation to MagFast Beverages,” he said.

“This win is [for] all the Indian companies who believe in the ‘made in India’ campaign by [the Modi] government”.

WIPR has approached PepsiCo for comment.

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