PepsiCo may soon find themselves in hot water in a brewing legal battle with a cold brew company. Rise Brewing Company is suing the soda giant for trademark infringement stemming from their latest product, energy drink Mountain Dew Rise.
Released in March of this year, you’ve probably been passively exposed to the marketing push for Mountain Dew Rise. As the drink that NBA superstar LeBron James left Sprite/Coca-Cola to endorse, MD Rise commercials have littered the NBA playoffs this year showing James doing everything from laundry to mowing the yard to salsa dancing (which led to Phoenix Suns’ Jae Crowder’s Game 6 ejection after his team had all but clenched against James’s Lakers).
The suit was filed in a Chicago court Tuesday, June 15th, per Law360, alleging that the “infringing drink they were about to launch would cause lasting and irreparable injury to Rise Brewing’s brand.” Per MSN, the suit states that this is a “classic case of reverse confusion” whereby “a larger, more powerful junior user (PepsiCo) adopted the trademark (Rise) of a smaller senior user (Rise Brewing) and uses its commercial dominance and superior resources to saturate the market with that mark.”
The suit further alleges that the Pepsi subsidiary’s new self-described “morning caffeine drink” is “designed to specifically target the morning coffee drinker, and is marketed as a morning caffeinated drink to replace ready-to-drink coffee drinks such as Rise,” per Reuters. Rise’s attorney Jason Rosenberg—of firm Alston & Bird, who recently successfully argued for a temporary restraining order of Pepsi’s Gatorlyte hyrdration drink on behalf of Mexican company Laboratorios Pisa’s Electrolit—states that PepsiCo has a “considerable history of infringing on other brands’ names, per MSN, citing previous cases where Pepsi was sued by VitaminWater, Polar seltzer, and Simply Orange juice for similar trademark infringements.
Pepsi has yet to comment on the allegations.
This story is developing…
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.