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Pepsico, Inc. v. Grapette Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
416 F.2d 285 (1969)
Grapette Co. (defendant) was a national bottler and distributor of soft drinks, concentrates, and syrups. In 1965, Grapette created a formula for a new pepper-flavored soft drink. Meanwhile, H. Fox and Co. (Fox) owned the registered trademark Peppy, which Fox had used in connection with a cola-flavored syrup since the 1930s. Desiring to use the Peppy mark on its new pepper-flavored soft drink, Grapette entered into an agreement with Fox for its assignment. Even though the agreement included an assignment of goodwill, none of Fox’s assets, formulas, processes, or plant were transferred with the trademark. Grapette then made arrangements for use of the Peppy mark on its new pepper-flavored soft drink. But, in 1965, PepsiCo, Inc. (plaintiff) warned Grapette of possible litigation if it did not stop use of the mark, but Grapette ignored the warning. PepsiCo sought an injunction against Grapette on the alleged infringement of its registered trademark Pepsi. The district court found that the Peppy mark was confusingly similar to Pepsi and therefore would constitute infringement, but the district court denied PepsiCo injunctive relief on the ground of laches. PepsiCo appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lay, J.)
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