A small processor of ready-to-drink coffee-based beverages has obtained an injunction against PepsiCo over the use of the word “Rise” in its new energy drinks.
PepsiCo rolled out Mtn Dew Rise Energy, a energy-drink extension of its Mountain Dew brand, in March, recruiting basketball star LeBron James as a spokesperson. PepsiCo was sued a few months later in federal court by Rise Brewing Co., a New-York-based marketer of coffee-based drinks. Rise Brewing alleged that Mtn Dew Rise would confuse consumers, especially in its core younger demographic.
A federal judge in Illinois granted a preliminary injunction Nov. 3, forbidding PepsiCo from using the word “Rise” on packaging or in marketing.
“Plaintiff has submitted credible evidence that it faces an existential threat from Defendant’s infringement,” New York-based district judge Lorna Schofield wrote in her opinion, noting that “Defendant’s product has dissuaded at least one investor from re-upping his investment, and additional testimony makes clear that Plaintiff’s corporate identity is at risk if Defendant continues to saturate the market.”