Dublin Dr Pepper Done; Suit Settlement Saves Sugar

A trademark infringement lawsuit filed in June by Dr Pepper Snapple Group against Dublin Dr Pepper, the soda’s oldest distributor, has been settled, with the larger company regaining control of the brand in Dublin Dr Pepper’s six-county area.

Dublin Dr Pepper — founded in 1891 — had a cult following for its use of unique glass bottles featuring the Dublin name and a recipe that used cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in its version of Dr Pepper; in addition to its beverage sales the company had made something of a cottage industry of selling memorabilia featuring the Dublin Dr Pepper name.

Capped Off: Dublin Dr Pepper

The Dublin Dr Pepper name is gone now — it will be called Dublin Bottling Works, Inc., as part of the settlement. According to the Wall Street Journal, 14 of the company’s 37 employees have been laid off. DPS will continue to distribute a cane sugar version of Dr Pepper in Dublin’s former territory, and will also supply other parts of Texas with that formulation.

DPS filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the company last year.

“Our main focus has always been on protecting the strength and integrity of the Dr Pepper trademark,” said Rodger Collins, president of packaged beverages at DPS. “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.”

Dublin Bottling Works will continue to bottle products like NuGrape, Triple XXX Root Beer and Suncrest.  Under the terms of their agreement, DPS purchased all of the Dublin bottler’s sales and distribution operations and related assets, as well as the rights to distribute Dr Pepper and other DPS brands in the six-county territory previously served by Dublin, according to a statement released by both companies. The former Dr Pepper bottler will also continue to operate its museum and Old Doc’s Soda Shop, offering tours and selling soft drinks, food and officially licensed Dr Pepper merchandise.