POM Wonderful, a pomegranate juice maker, won reinstatement of its request to block Pur Beverages from calling its pomegranate-flavored energy drink “pom,” in a federal appeals court decision last week.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an order by Los Angeles Judge Margaret Morrow, who had denied a preliminary injunction for POM Wonderful against Pur.
The appeals court held that POM was likely to prevail on its claim that the name and trademark used by Pur Beverages was so similar to POM’s it was likely to create confusion among consumers.
The appeals court ordered the case back to Morrow to reconsider the criteria for issuing a preliminary injunction.
POM has sold more than 190 million bottles of pomegranate juice, making it the leading seller of 100 percent pomegranate juice in markets in the U.S., according to the court.
Visiting Judge David Ebel of the 10th Circuit, said the panel was not expressing an opinion on the ultimate merits of the case.
He said that Pur’s beverage bears a mark that is visually and semantically similar to POM Wonderful’s commercially protected POM mark, which it has owned since 2002.
Judges Andrew Kleinfeld and Susan Graber joined in the decision.
Case: POM Wonderful v. Hubbard, No. 14-55253