San Diego – Coca-Cola recently filed an opposition to a trademark application for “Cocaine” for energy drinks filed by Redux Beverages in Chile on grounds of unfair competition and morality. Coca-Cola is also claiming that the trademark will lead to a likelihood of confusion with its famous Coca-Cola brand.
James Kirby, Founder/President of Las Vegas-based Redux Beverages, surmised that Coke’s opposition of the trademark is in response to the growing popularity of his energy drink. “We have already captured a significant market share in Chile,” says Kirby, “and our brand is achieving significant growth in the country.”
Since being launched by Redux in 2006, “Cocaine Energy” has attracted a loyal consumer base and quite a bit of media attention over the controversial name. The product has been banned in Texas for sending the wrong message to young consumers.
The popular energy drink is packed with 280 mg of caffeine per can (3.5 times stronger than other energy drinks) and without high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, Cocaine Energy uses dextrose, which is better metabolized by the body. The drink is available in two flavors: Spicy Hot Cocaine, and Mild Cocaine, which offer a unique blend of fruit and spices. Interestingly, the can for Spicy Hot Cocaine is similar to that of a Coca-Cola can, with a red background and white logo.
We notice that James Kirby of Redux has filed U.S. Trademark Applications for COCAINE, COCAINE (+Design), and COCAINE ENERGY all for energy related drinks but each was refused by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and ultimately did not register due to problems with the trademark being immoral/scandalous and also deceptively misdescriptive of the goods. Generally, immoral trademarks cannot register, and the trademark is considered to be deceptively misdescriptive because cocaine is not an ingredient of the drink.
Coca-Cola was created in 1885 and at one time did contain an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. The cocaine was removed in the early 1900’s. The complete formula for Coke remains a closely held trade secret known only to a few employees.