Coke suing Pepsi for a bottle too similar

Coca-cola is suing Pepsi for using a bottle too similar to its own.

It says the curvy bottle introduced by Pepsi uses Coca-cola’s (Coke) signature look, The Financial Review reports.

“The silhouette of that bottle shape would be perceived by some consumers in Australia as possessing ther character of a brand,” Coca-cola alleges in its statement of claim.

Coke has had a trademark on its bottle since 1934 and holds 69 per cent of the cola market.

Yesterday repetitive from Coca-cola and Pepsi appeared in the Melbourne Federal Court to develop parameters for the trial.

But Knightsbridge Lawyers special counsel, professor Mark Davison, told the Financial Review the battle could have ramifications for the entire industry.

“It was not clear that the community benefited from giving excessive rights over the shapes of products or containers,” he said.

“There are some concerns about the monopolisation of shapes.”

“There is a more limited number of shapes available for any product compared to words.”

“The shape of the bottle is limited.

“Ultimately the bottle has to achieve certain functions.”

Pepsi has denied all claims made by Coke.

The Pepsi the case is based on has been on the market since 2007.

FB Rice special counsel David Franklin believes Coke may have a chance of winning its battle, but only on certain grounds.

He says the case could be won “provided it can prove the sale of Pepsi in that bottle is use of the bottle shape as a trademark,” but said it was less likely on the basis on claims of “passing off” a product and misleading or deceptive conduct.

It is not the first time Coca-Cola has gotten protective of its brand, and in 1999 took manufacturer All-Fect to the Federal Court over its production of small lollies known as “coke bottles.”

A date for the latest trial has not been set.


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