Dublin Dr Pepper Responds to Corporate HQ's Lawsuit With Quite the Legal History Lesson

LarryYoungonCEO.JPG
It probably doesn't help Dr Pepper's case that CEO Larry Young went on KERA's CEO in '09 with a Dublin sixer and touted it as "the original Dr Pepper formula with the Imperial sugar in it" with an "unbelievable" following.
Back in June, you no doubt recall, Plano-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. decided, for whatever reason, to sue Dublin Dr Pepper, which makes the only soda worth drinking -- original-formula Imperial Pure Cane Sugar Dr Pepper. Corporate HQ claims in court docs that Dublin Dr Pepper, which ships all over the country and is widely available throughout Texas, is violating terms of a licensing agreement that confines its sale to just six counties: Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Hamilton and Bosque.

This, despite the fact that Dr Pepper officials have for years acknowledged publicly their love for Dublin Dr Pepper and even promoted it to curious customers by providing them with its website. Corporate's also called it a "a good partner" whose very existence only "fuels the passion of Dr Pepper fans." Then there's this episode of KERA's CEO from November 2009, in which Dr Pepper Snapple Group President and CEO Larry Young tells Lee Cullum, "There's nothing tastes better than a Dublin Dr Pepper when it is ice cold." And, why, there just so happens to be a six-pack of it right there.

dublindrpepper.jpg
All that and more is mentioned in Dublin Dr Pepper's response filed yesterday in federal court by none other than McKool Smith's Steve Wolens, the former state rep and quite the Dr Pepper historian, at least based upon the terrifically written and wonderfully illustrated filing that spills the history of Dublin Dr Pepper, from the time Charles Alderton invented the beverage in 1885 up till the moment Corporate HQ turned on the wellspring to the south.

For years, the response says, theirs was a close, symbiotic relationship. Until it wasn't. Says the doc that follows, when corporate began selling its cane-sugar anniversary Pepper products last year, it began ripping off the Dublin's designs long used for its cans -- and, of course, began using something close to the original recipe. Writes Wolens, that's when things changed:
In short, Corporate Dr Pepper has attempted to reap the benefit of Dublin Dr Pepper's hard work over the past several decades. More importantly, and given Corporate Dr Pepper's recent foray into making Dr Pepper with sugar (albeit a blended beet sugar), it is apparent that this suit was not brought to protect the public (who is not confused about anything Dublin Dr Pepper has done) or independent bottlers. Rather, it is likely that Corporate Dr Pepper simply wants to eliminate Dublin Dr Pepper from, or severally limit its ability to be in the market for Dr Pepper made with sugar, a market that Dublin Dr Pepper has created and maintained for the past several decades.
Wolens says Dublin hasn't broken any licensing agreement -- far from it. All this suit's about, he insists, is trying to drive a Texas institution out of business, which "is not in the public interest." So jump -- there's a lot to read on the other side, including not only the history of Dr Pepper but myriad letters (including notes of congratulations and even one of condolences sent in '46) and magazine articles and bottle designs -- enough to make you want a Dublin Dr Pepper. Right now. Dublin Dr Pepper Response
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Tiny Leo Merr
Tiny Leo Merr

For those thinking about switching to PepsiCo products I would seriously reconsider that thought because they are using aborted fetus cells as taste receptors for new flavors. It is also suspected that there might be some cells in their drinks. Also, research has found that Mt. Dew dissolves a rat. I used to be big on PepsiCo products until I heard about this stuff. Now, I'm considering switching to Coca-Cola, but their sodas just don't taste right to me since they quit using sugar. I do go to the Mexican stores and buy the Mexican Coca-Cola though.

Rowdy_l1
Rowdy_l1

This is ridiculous, I hope Dublin wins. I and all my friends have started boycotting Dr Pepper/Snapple products due to their stupidity. I can't believe what a bunch of two-faced a holes the corporate officers are. In my opinion Dublin was making them look good but they sure turned that around.

Kadennis
Kadennis

I had DDr.P for the first time when I worked in Texas this last year. It IS awsome. I was trying to find it in Iowa and I just found out today(01/16/12) about the closing. Hey Snapple- up your ass you bunch a jamokes. NO MORE SNAPPLE OR "Dr.PEPPER FOR THIS CAT.

Ashley
Ashley

Well looks like this hard core Diet DP drinker is gonna switch to Diet Pepsi forever. I will not stand for them crushing a small town when the very company came from a smallish town. I will not drink Dr pepper products or Snapple (I don't even like Snapple anyway). Thank GOD our hospital cut out Dr pepper and use only Pepsi now, who needs them! Losers

benjaminnapier
benjaminnapier

Dr. Pepper no longer exists. Screw the corporate idiots. ANd, folks, high fructose corn syrup is a poison causing non-alcohiolic cirrosis of the liver and obesity.

FISHIN4FUN58
FISHIN4FUN58

THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED IN WIPING OUT THE DUBLIN MANUFACTURING PLANT, I THINK YOU WILL SOON FIND OUT IT’S A DOUBLE EDGE SWORD. WE HERE TEXANS DO NOT TAKE KINDLY TO OUR INSTITUTIONS BEING DECIMATED, ESPECIALLY FROM BIG CORPORATE AMERICA. I FOR ONE WILL BE THINKING A LOT LESS ABOUT MY PURCHASES OF DR PEPPER AND DR PEPPER PRODUCTS FROM NOW ON, AND I THINK I VOICE THE SAME SENTIMENT FROM OTHERS IN THIS STATE. ENJOY YOUR VICTORY, AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE….

David
David

History Died today!  Shame on Dr Pepper... They killed the Dublin Dr Plant... I am done with Dr Pepper.... I will force myself to drink Pepsi products!

Tiny Leo Merr
Tiny Leo Merr

I would reconsider drinking anything from PepsiCo. They are using aborted fetus cells as taste receptors for new flavors. It is also suspected that there might be some cells in their drinks. Also, research has found that Mt. Dew dissolves a rat. I used to be big on PepsiCo products until I heard about this stuff. Now, I'm considering switching to Coca-Cola, but their sodas just don't taste right to me since they quit using sugar. I do go to the Mexican stores and buy the Mexican Coca-Cola though.

Jbanks
Jbanks

If you really want to taste how bad HFCS corporate DP is the heat it up.The original Dr Pepper  with sugar is a wonderful winter drink, The HFCS stuff will make most people throw up. That's why they no longer run comercials for hot Dr Pepper.

pro Dublin
pro Dublin

Please boycott all DPSG, Cadbury, Schweppes Americas Beverages and (buy only Dublin Dr Pepper) Hang in there Dublin DP... We are with you.

Miss Mac
Miss Mac

OK...now it is Frito Lay's turn to go bust on the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, TX for having an out of this world "frito pie". Seriously? Shame on Corporate Dr. Pepper/Snapple group here in Plano...I hope Dublin Dr. Pepper wins AND gets slotting in ALL the grocery stores right next to your product. We already know they will sell enough that they could bottle 24/7 and still not keep shelves full. Oh well...for every Goliath, I guarantee, there is a stone!

Rob Kuelbs
Rob Kuelbs

This is kind of like the makers of fake Rolexes trying to knock the real Rolex out of business.  Without the real deal, you won't have anything to make crappy knock-offs of anymore.

Miss Mac
Miss Mac

EXACTLY! Now go tell Shiner that they shouldn't market outside of Texas because they might taste too much like some other company's smooth tasty brown lager beer!  Corporate Dr. Pepper tastes so uuuugghhh these days because they cut back on their syrup proportion and prune juice. Atleast, that is the way it tastes to me, right out of THEIR can, even worse off a fountain. It hasn't been that good for about 2 years now... I quit buying Diet Dr.Pepper too. Ummm, maybe we can get a Sugar-Free Dublin Dr. Pepper in the near future??? PLLLEEEAASE, PRETTY PLEASE?!

Rachel
Rachel

Hey they promoted dublin Dr. P. So why crush them now? Because its better abd eating into their profit margin. Ppl want the "real" thing. Lol (sorry for the coke quote). Some think sugar is sugar no matter where it comes from. NOT!! I stopped drinking the corp. Dr p a while ago because the taste changed. Now I know why. And never drank snapple because they always use lots of citric acid in their teas. And still do even if it has a no lemon one for sweet tea. (Still uses a ton of citric acid in it as a preservativeBesides. I'm a texas girl through and through. (Related to W.B. Travis

Jim
Jim

At 1/10th of 1% I doubt it is eating in to their profit margin all that much.

Hobo352001
Hobo352001

Cane sugar, beet sugar , corn sugar...  ..what a mess !   I shall just keep buying from Dublineach time I go back to Bosque Co. I like my beets in a bowl, also my corn in a bowl.....

 james
james

like snap-on tools havin' a crew shop on ebay and complain anytime anyone mentions 'lifetime warranty'...like they want to destroy the 'common knowledge' that they have this lifetime warranty on their tools...actively tryin' to kill the resale value.

Connie Reed
Connie Reed

Reminds me of the time Coke came out with New Coca-Cola. BLUNDER! Then they had to come out with Original Coca-Cola, which, eventually, was just Coca-Cola. Again.

Flashwtg
Flashwtg

Not quite...instead of sugar in "old" Coca-Cola...the Coca-Cola of today uses high fructose corn syrup...

 james
james

coke ain't been good for a long time either.

Agedhippy
Agedhippy

Try the Coca-Cola imported from Mexico (you can find it most grocery stores in the DFW area with the import foods).  It's still made with real sugar and a formula that reminds me of the old Coke in the teeny little 6-1/2 oz bottles.

Oliphantman
Oliphantman

Kosher Coke comes out at Passover and has sugar in it.  You will spot the 2 liters by the yellow caps with Hebrew on it.  Everything else looks the same.

Jim
Jim

Why is that James?

Randy461
Randy461

Lets cut to the chase here: if Dublin wins, Dr.Pepper likely has the right to yank Dublin's bottling contract in a year or so. They would then no longer have the right to bottle that drink or anything with the Dr. Pepper name on it.

KLunsford
KLunsford

This law suite speaks very poorly of the corporate office.  Cutting off the nose in spite of the face.  If a part of your company is doing good, why try to destroy it?  Why not try to imitate it throughout the corporation?  If other bottlers are using pure cane sugar, why don't they advertise it like Dublin does?  I repeat this speaks very poorly of the corporate office. 

Stacy
Stacy

This is why u never mess w/ elders.....They keep EVERYTHING....and will put you back in your place.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

"it is likely that Corporate Dr Pepper simply wants to eliminate Dublin Dr Pepper from, or severally limit its ability to be in the market "

Severally?Is that in the document, or is that a typo in bringing it to the story?

MikeParker
MikeParker

Not a typo, just a legal termhttp://dictionary.reference.co...

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

That does make more sense than a typo. Although I have to admit, even after having read the definition, it reads oddly in the sentence. 

So I tried to Google an example of the phrase "severally limit" in the wild. Wouldn't you know it, I found this confusing example ...------------------------------------------------------------CMS Severally Limits Physician DME Consignment Closets 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Transmittal August 7, 2009 revising the Medicare Program Integrity Manual in a way that will severely limit physician DMEPOS consignment closet arrangements...

http://www.invacare.com/HQ/EDI...

I think I'm done being the English Nazi for today

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Thanks, Mike. And for the 239,392nd time, I regret not having gone to law school.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Typo in the suit.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

You don't see those kinda mistakes in those kinda documents by those kinda folks very often 

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

"principle over profits and taste over tender"

You gotta love the writing.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Stopped by Dublin a couple of weeks ago and got meself a Float..mmmmm...and brought home a case of the bottles for the missus.  She was almost as pleased as I was. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

"She was almost as pleased as I was."  Isnt that how sex usually ends too?

hammertimez
hammertimez

spent 8 years at dr pepper snapple...not.surprised.at.all. 

rumpunch
rumpunch

This is especially true now that the former Bottling Group folks are running the show. Alot of the leadership team came to DPSG (then Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages) as part of the acquisition of Dr. Pepper Bottling Group. The bottling group was formed back in the 90's by Cadbury and a private equity group with the main goal of acquiring the independent bottlers and gaining full control of their supply chain. 

I think this suit has more to do with leverage to acquire them than a license issue.  Regardless, a horrible PR move.

 james
james

if corporate dr urine does buy them out it'll taste like piss in a few years too.

Mike Orren
Mike Orren

Wolens is definitely on his game. When you first wrote about this suit, I read it in Instapaper on a plane from NY to Dallas. 

When we landed, the passenger behind me stopped to ask me why I was reading your post and what I thought about it and how it made me feel about either side. I was tired, so didn't recognize until he introduced himself that 'twas Steve Wolens, conducting a quickie focus group for his client.

Facebook User
Facebook User

I can't imagine why Dr. Pepper decided to go down this road. Major PR blunder.

 james
james

as a kid i was one of dr pepper's best customers. the dr pepper freak. i can't say exactly what year that changed...now it's my LAST choice of drink before nasty diet sodas with aspartain(ant poison). dr pepper used to be good. now it tastes like piss. until i had a dublin dr pepper. it reminded me why i used to luv them. so, my conclusion is that corporate dr. pepper has ruined their drink and their name. now they seem bent on ruining the folks who have tried to stay true to themselves and maintain an original quality drink.that seems to be the american way now. instead of doin' yer job better...just try to ruin the person who does your job better...a note to dublin dr pepper, and frostie root beer...if you quit chargin' me import beer prices fer soda...i'll buy more from you.

Jim
Jim

Wow. You must be totally clueless to make this comment after reading all of the information above.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow, talk about a blow to the bow of DPS group. I said it before, this appears to be a wholesale shakedown for a Texas-made product. Im hoping Dublin DP wins this case and is allowed to sell their product to any and everyone who wants to buy it, no matter what part of the country they reside in.

 james
james

if there was any such thing as justice...corporate dr pepper would have ownership handed back to the originals...a great lesson for greed that in modern amerika...ain't gonna happen.

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