Monday, January 17, 2011

Aquafina’s branding misleading....image of Snow capped mountains?


Supreme Court of India today decided to take up the dispute between Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) and PepsiCo for final disposal on February 17. The dispute pertains to use of words like pure, purity guaranteed, refreshing etc. by PepsiCo India Holdings Ltd. on its packaged water brand Aquafina. BIS alleges that use of these words and the image of Snow capped mountains are in violation of BIS Guidelines.

Supreme Court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma posting the matter for February 17 also gave liberty to both the parties to file additional documents, if any, within four weeks from today.

BIS contended that 'snow-capped mountain' indicates that the water had its origin in mountain and is mineral water. High Court ruling against PepsiCo ordered that use of snow capped mountains “would amount to conveying a misleading impression to the buyers that the product is mineral and not packaged drinking water”.

PepsiCo had appealed in Supreme Court challenging Delhi High Court judgment which directed it to remove the picture depicting mountain range and follow BIS rules in use of words like purity guaranteed. PepsiCo claims to have the registered trademark in 122 countries including India and contended that BIS cannot challenge use of it. Furthermore the company claims that the labelling clearly indicates that Aquafina is “packaged drinking water” and not “Mineral Water”.

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