In the United States, a federal appeals court has sided with juice maker POM Wonderful in a lawsuit over another beverage company’s use of the term ‘pom’.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court ruling that denied POM Wonderful’s request for a preliminary injunction against Portland, Oregon-based Pur Beverages.
POM Wonderful argued that Pur Beverages’ use of the term ‘pom’ on a pomegranate energy drink is a violation of POM Wonderful’s trademarks. A lower court said POM Wonderful was unlikely to succeed in the case and denied the company’s request to stop Pur Beverages from selling the drink.
The 9th Circuit disagreed and ordered the lower court to reconsider the preliminary injunction.
In Los Angeles, US district judge Margaret Morrow had ruled that Pom Wonderful was unlikely to show that shoppers would be confused by the rival products, which have different packaging, and was therefore unlikely to succeed on the merits.
But a three-judge appeals court panel said Morrow ‘clearly erred,’’ given that the products’ names were “visually, aurally, and semantically similar,” and that the drinks were marketed to similar, health-conscious consumers at similar price points.
Pur Beverages president Robert Hubbard says he still doesn’t think POM Wonderful will be granted a preliminary injunction.
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