If you have but a single can or bottle marked "Dublin Dr Pepper," don't open it. It's a collector's item as of this very moment. That's because as of 5 p.m. today there is no more Dublin Dr Pepper: From here on out, per a settlement agreement just announced in the case filed by Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group in June, the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company will now be known as Dublin Bottling Works Inc. And it will no longer manufacture Imperial Pure Cane Sugar Dr Pepper at its bottling plant.
It will continue to manufacture soft drinks with pure-cane sugar: Triple XXX Root Beer, NuGrape and SunCrest among others. But Dr Pepper Snapple Group has purchased from from the Kloster family all of its Dr Pepper-related assets, as well as the right to distribute Dr Pepper in the six-county territory (Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Hamilton and Bosque) previously served by Dublin Dr Pepper. Corporate says the product sold there and elsewhere will continue to be made with pure-cane sugar at the Temple bottling plant, and that "it will still be bottled and canned in distinct, nostalgic packaging." The only difference, says the announcement, is that "it will not reference Dublin on the label."
Sources also inform Unfair Park that 14 out of Dublin Dr Pepper's 40 employees, who worked in the warehouse, have been let go due to the terms of the settlement agreement.
As you'll recall, Dublin Dr Pepper previously denied violating terms of its licensing agreement with corporate HQ. And, said Dublin's Dallas-based attorney Steve Wolens, it wasn't so long ago that corporate and Dublin, which began bottling the beverage in 1891, had a close-knit relationship -- till, that is, corporate started selling its own version of the throwback beverage made with blended beet sugar and sold in cans looking like the Dublin containers.
"We want to thank our many customers for their support of our family-owned business during the past 120 years, and we want them to know that Dr Pepper is still a big part of Dublin," says Dublin Bottling Works vice president Jeff Kloster in a statement. "We hope customers will continue to visit our town, the W.P. Kloster Museum and Old Doc's Soda Shop, where they can still enjoy Dr Pepper sweetened with cane sugar."
To which Rodger L. Collins, president of Packaged Beverages for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, adds this: "Our main focus has always been on protecting the strength and integrity of the Dr Pepper trademark. We're pleased to reach an agreement that accomplishes that while also preserving the history and the special relationship Dr Pepper has with the Dublin community."
I'd been peeking at the case file in recent weeks and noticed that recent filings have been made under seal. Now, says the release:
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With the central issues of trademark infringement and territorial selling rights resolved, the federal lawsuit DPS filed in June and Dublin's subsequent countersuit in a Texas state court will both be immediately dismissed. DPS will continue to support the popular 'Dr Pepper, Texas' celebration as well as related '10-2-4k' run held each June in Dublin.
Below, one more time, is Dublin's response to the initial lawsuit. It provides the complete history of a company that's now, well, history.Dublin Dr Pepper Response