At the end of last week, Plano-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. filed its response to Dublin Dr Pepper's response to corporate's lawsuit filed in June, in which the mothership insists Dublin's violating a licensing agreement by selling The Imperial Pure Cane Sugar-y Good Stuff outside of a six-county area.
The new filing follows. It's not nearly as good a read as Steve Wolens's wonderfully written history-of offered in defense of Dublin; matter of fact, it's positively bland, much like corn-syrup Dr Pepper when compared to the real thing. But, there is one intriguing item of note contained deep within the pleading -- Paragraph 33, to be specific.
Wolens, who's repping Dublin, noted in his August 9 filing that on March 24 corporate issued the Dublin bottler the following directive: "Do not use 'In God We Trust' on certain merchandise." Which was odd, Wolens noted, only because corporate had allowed it in the past. It was the attorney's way of showing "an erratic pattern in corporate approval of trademark use in recent years," as Barry Shclachter noted.
In its response, though, the Plano company acknowledges: "Dr Pepper admits that it does not approve Defendant's use of 'In God We Trust' on certain merchandise." It doesn't say why.
But it does recall the minor brouhaha that occurred in November 2001, when, following the terror attacks of September 11, corporate issued a special can "to support the patriotic fervor that has been sweeping America." As you'll see here, the can featured the Statue of Liberty and three words from the Pledge of Allegiance: "One Nation ... Indivisible."
One letter-writer asked corporate: "What anti-God, anti-American heathen among your employees decided that Dr Pepper/7-UP had the right to re-write this patriotic anthem to exclude reference to the God Who caused America to become the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the Earth?"
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The company insisted it was due to "space limitations."
I asked Wolens this morning what's Dr Pepper got against the phrase "In God We Trust"? His response: "Lord knows." Heh. Then, he said, "The only thing I can think of is they probably think they own the trademark to that phrase."Dr Pepper Snapple Response to Dublin Filing