Dublin Dr Pepper Sets Up Legal Defense Fund

Town rallies around local bottler in fight with Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Portraying itself as the small guy against a powerful corporation, Dublin Dr Pepper has set up a "legal defense fund" to help pay attorneys in its battle against Plano-based Dr Pepper corporation.

"We're a small family-owned company," said Dublin Dr Pepper's director of tourism. "It's been some extreme costs incurred for this."

A Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. spokesman said the company didn't want to file the lawsuit but is just trying to protect its iconic 126-year-old trademark.

The company claims Dublin Dr Pepper is confusing customers by adding the town's name to the soft drink's name, creating its own logo and, in effect, its own sub-brand. The lawsuit also alleges Dublin Dr Pepper is selling its product outside its approved six-county area.

"There would be no need for a legal defense fund if they honored the agreement they signed," spokesman Chris Barnes said.

But in Dublin, which is southwest of Stephenville, people are rallying around the plant like they do high school football.

A local singer recorded a music video called "A Big Fan of Small" and posted it on YouTube.

People wear shirts that say "Save Dublin."

"Everybody is supporting the Dublin Dr Pepper plant," said resident Scott Estes.

Dublin is known nationwide for its eight-ounce bottles of Dr Pepper -- largely because they still use real sugar. It was the first Dr Pepper plant and is now the world's smallest.

"We tried everything we could to keep this out of the courts, but they left us with no other choice," Barnes said.

Dodd fired back.

"We just felt like all the uniqueness that was Dublin Dr Pepper just made Dr Pepper shine," she said. "We're a great product. We're good for them."

Dr Pepper filed the lawsuit in federal court in Sherman. No trial date is set.

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