Dr Pepper Sues Dr Pepper

Suit claims Dublin, Texas, bottler violates license agreement

by Bruce Felps

Dr Pepper seems to be embroiled in a family spat.

Big-boy Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc., a subsidiary of Plano’s Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., just filed a lawsuit against Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas, for violating its licensing agreement.

So this is some sort of malpractice suit?

The big corporate headcheeses claim the little drugstore soda jerks sell the cane-sugar drink beyond their legal six-county territory centered in Comanche County. The suit alleges the little Dublin guys exceed the territory through Internet and phone orders, and can they control where their customers live and drink? What if someone traveled to Dublin, purchased a case, and drove back home to Oklahoma City? Would that be wrong, you know, except for the part about living in Oklahoma City?

The corporate guys also take umbrage to the Dubliners’ use of the phrase “Dublin Dr Pepper” in the labeling and packaging because that, too, supposedly violates the licensing agreement by not looking exactly like the HQ version.

The corporation, according to its statement, grants bottling licenses to more than 170 companies in the United States and Canada, but it just seems to me that if any one of them deserves special dispensation it should be the Dublin guys.

They invented the stuff … kind of.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He’s from Texas where all sodas or cold drinks are referred to as “Cokes.”

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