POM Wonderful holds this same argument in a case against The Coca-Cola Co., Inc., that’s being picked up by The Supreme Court, according to an article by Reuters.
POM, which markets a popular line of pomegranate juice products, initially filed a lawsuit against Coke in July 2010 for what it deems as misleading labeling and advertising with Minute Maid’s pomegranate and blueberry flavored juice blend. Coke, which owns Minute Maid, says that the product is “100% juice.” POM says that the product in question is made with 99 percent apple and grape juice, 0.3 percent pomegranate juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice, and that consumers might believe otherwise.
A lower court decision ruled in favor of Coke. In May 2012, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers to use the names of all juices in a product, no matter the amount used, the label is legal.
However, the 9th Circuit also stated that POM may have some standing to pursue state law claims against Coke.
According to the article, the pending case will focus on whether the 9th Circuit was wrong to rule that POM, a private party, couldn’t make its complaint under a federal trademark law when the Minute Maid product was regulated under the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to not hear the case, however, government lawyers said there were problems with the 9th Circuit’s ruling.
The article says that a decision is due by the end of June.