PepsiCo is changing the name of Mtn Dew Rise Energy following a judge’s trademark ruling against the company last week, BD has learned from multiple sources. Starting on Friday, the new name will be Mtn Dew Energy, according to the sources. PepsiCo is selling through its inventory of Mtn Dew Rise Energy and no product removals will be required during the transition, BD also learned. The product's formula and flavor lineup will be unchanged, as will the brand's marketing and roster of celebrity endorsers including NBA superstar LeBron James, according to one of the sources. The person added that the Mtn Dew Energy name change will reinforce the brand's energy credentials.
PEPSICO RESPONSE. When reached about the name change, PepsiCo emailed the following statement from Energy Portfolio SVP & CMO Fabiola Torres:
"The power of this brand is in its purpose and in meeting the functional and emotional needs it was designed to address, and they will remain the driving force behind it. After only seven months in the market, this product has set a new standard in the category and consumers have reacted with enthusiasm. We are seeing strong repeat as more and more people are drinking it to start their day. We are fully committed to Mtn Dew Energy and will continue to work with our customers, who play a significant role in its success, to put our full go-to-market capabilities behind it. We will also continue to bring new and exciting innovation and marketing to Mtn Dew Energy this year and beyond."
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. Last week, a federal judge in New York granted a preliminary injunction barring PepsiCo from using the name “Rise” for its single-serve canned Mtn Dew Rise energy drink launched in March of this year. The ruling stems from a June trademark lawsuit brought by canned coffee maker Rise Brewing. The judge ruled that Rise Brewing is likely to prevail on its claim that PepsiCo’s use of “Rise” creates confusion in the marketplace because of a similarity to the trademark on Rise Brewing’s ready-to-drink canned coffees (see photo below). The judge also ruled that Rise Brewing “sustained its burden of showing irreparable harm” by PepsiCo’s actions. PepsiCo has argued there would be no confusion between the company's fruit-flavored energy drink and Rise Brewing's coffee beverage. The same judge later denied PepsiCo’s subsequent request for an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction pending appeal, or for at least 11 weeks to give PepsiCo time to transition from the “Rise” name.
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