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Coca-Cola Co. v. Koke Co. of America

United States Supreme Court
254 U.S. 143 (1920)


Facts

Beginning in the 19th century, Coca-Cola Company (plaintiff) manufactured a drink using coca leaves and cola nuts. The drink contained a small amount of cocaine until such inclusion was prohibited by Congress in 1906. After the prohibition, Coca-Cola continued to use coca leaves, but removed the effects of cocaine. Coca-Cola heavily advertised the fact that the product no longer contained cocaine. Koke Company of America (defendant) created a drink seeking to imitate Coca-Cola’s recipe and name. Coca-Cola brought suit for trademark infringement and sought an injunction. Koke argued that because Coca-Cola no longer contained cocaine, its trademark amounted to a false representation to the public and thus was not protectable. The district court ruled in favor of Coca-Cola. The court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)

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