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Talking Rain Beverage Co., Inc. v. South Beach Beverage Company

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
349 F.3d 601 (2003)


Talking Rain Beverage Co. (Rain) (plaintiff) registered a particular shape of a bottle that it used for flavored and unflavored water. Rain sued South Beach Beverage Company (SoBe) (defendant) for trademark infringement and false designation of origin because the bottle that SoBe used in its sales was similar to Rain’s bottle. Both bottles have smooth sides and a grip area in the same location. SoBe claimed that its bottle was designed based on a bottle that fits into a bicycle bottle-holder and counterclaimed that Rain’s bottle was functional and that its trademark registration should be cancelled on that ground. Rain had marketed its bottle as a distinct “Grip Bottle,” but Rain did admit that this design resembled a bike bottle. Both bottles are made from similar-looking plastic, and both companies sell flavored beverages. The district court granted SoBe’s counterclaim and found that Rain’s trademark should be cancelled. Rain appealed this decision.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fisher, J.)

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