Court Sides with Pom, and Coca-Cola May Have to Change Name
After a lengthy legal battle, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Pom juice, after the company, known for their all-natural, pure pomegranate juices, sued Coca-Cola for deceptive labeling after it was discovered that Minute Maid’s “Pomegranate Blueberry” beverage contained less than two percent pomegranate juice, and mostly consisted of apple and grape juice. In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that Pom can go ahead with their lawsuit.
Lower courts, according to the Associated Press, were siding with Coca-Cola initially because Minute Maid may still be complying with FDA regulations.
“Federal FDA laws and trademark laws complement each other in the regulation of misleading labels,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy in a court statement. “It is unlikely Congress intended FDA law to preclude all trademark actions in the food and beverage arena because that would mean "less policing" of misleading labels than in other industries.”
Coca-Cola’s lawyer has argued that it would be a “logistical nightmare,” if food or beverage companies had to change their labels every time a private company issued a lawsuit, and that FDA regulations should be enforced by the government, not by competitors.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi