20 Dec 2013

Coca-Cola loses battle against Pepsico over bottle shape

7:15 am on 20 December 2013

Coca-Cola has lost a passing-off battle against Pepsico, relating to the bottle shape of Pepsi drinks sold in New Zealand.

Coca-Cola took Frucor, which bottles and distributes the Pepsico brands in New Zealand, to court over the 300 millilitre glass bottles it has been selling Pepsico drinks in since 2009.

Coca-Cola claimed that Pepsico's use of the new bottle shape as a sign infringes three of its registered trade marks.

Justice Edwin Wylie of the High Court has ruled there was no reasonable likelihood of confusion or deception and therefore no damage to Coca-Cola's business in New Zealand.

The judge said Frucor has put the distinctive trade and device marks on the Pepsi, Pepsi Max and 7UP bottles and these marks clearly distinguish these products from Coca-Cola products.