Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
bottled water, ideas, trade secrets

Companies:
pepsi



Pepsi Told To Pay Over A Billion Dollars For 'Stealing' The Idea For Bottled Water

from the the-world-has-gone-mad dept

Ben was the first of a few folks who sent in the story that Pepsi has been told to pay $1.26 billion (with a b) for supposedly "stealing" the idea for filtered bottled water. Seriously. Two men claim they came up with the idea in 1981 to bottle water this way and approached Pepsi distributors with the idea. They say that Pepsi "stole" their trade secrets when it launched a bottled water line, Aquafina. Of course, Aquafina was launched in the mid-nineties, a decade and a half after this conversation supposedly took place. The $1.26 billion is something of a joke as well. It's a default judgment because a Pepsi secretary apparently forgot to pass on the letter alerting them to the lawsuit, so they didn't respond. Even so... there's so much wrong with this. First, $1.26 billion? For the "idea" of filtered bottled water? And for a lawsuit filed nearly thirty years after the alleged conversation? Nearly fifteen years after the product came to market? Yeah, that makes sense...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 9:39am

    Coke's The One...

    Three decades ago, I invented filling up Coke bottles with urine.

    Now, there's no market for this invention *YET* but there will be, oh yes, there certainly will be.

    (Dr Evil Laugh) Bawhahaha!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ray Charles, 2 Nov 2009 @ 9:42am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      Uh huh, and how are you going to do that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re: Coke's The One...

        I own several patents on vending machine toilets.

        To complete my masterful plan, all I need to do is convince companies that toilets (like water fountains) are an un-needed expense that shouldn't be paid for by the company. As a result, I will sell portable single-use toilets at point-of-purchase displays everywhere.

        All I need to do is convince the masses (like Charles Joyce and James Voigt did with water) that toiletries are a right and not a privilege and should be paid for either through my vending machine or through my lawfully approved point of purchase products, and also jam through congress a bill to strengthen fines for public indecency.

        I will be rich! Rich I tells ya! Buhahaha!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

          There is a musical based on that kind of idea, so, in essence, you may have been beaten to the punch. It's called Urinetown.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

            Do not mock me! My plan is perfect and in it's final stages. All I need to do is find the biggest pushover in Congress to stiffen the public indecency fines, but there are so many choices!

            All your pee belong to me. 25% royalty on 25 cents per wee, times three a day, times 300M people.

            The best part is that coffee houses will get them installed for FREE to attract customers into their stores.

            Don't you know what success smells like?? It smells like a QUADZILLIONARE! ME!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              oboy, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

              "Don't you know what success smells like?? It smells like a QUADZILLIONARE! ME!"

              more like piss.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

                It may smell, but the money still spends, oh yes it spends!

                "Read the Terms & Conditions before using this facility"

                In five years, we'll also get a DEA grant that will allow us to branch out and also install water sampling equipment to test for drug use which will be available to your employer for a small fee! It will be like redlight cams, but you'll never know what hit you until it's too late!

                RICH! YES! RICH! Bahaha!

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Scott, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

          You must be too young to remember pay toilets. It's been done.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

            Don't Piss on my idea!

            I'm schlepping it to Boehner next week! I'm told all I need to do is show up with a wheelbarrow full of cash and he'll say whatever I want him to!

            Boy, he'll be surprised when it's not money, but a wheelbarrow full of wee! He'll just have to imagine it as Moolah!

            Aaah. The smell of cash!!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Coke's The One...

            You must be too young to remember pay toilets. It's been done.

            Considering that the patent office doesn't seem to care too much about prior art anymore, that shouldn't be a problem.

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    • icon
      The Infamous Joe (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:02am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      Having been on quite a few road trips in my day, I feel that I may owe you some money for the use of your "invention". :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:36am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      Uhm... a catheter is similar to your invention. INFRINGEMENT.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:48am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      Actually if you count the Meth addicts, there is quite a market for this invention. Recently a meth lab was busted with many 2 liter bottles filled with urine, to be used in the manufacturing of meth.

      http://www.volunteertv.com/news/headlines/42368662.html

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:00am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      Does not make a difference whether there was a market for your invention, because this issue is for trade secrets. Very different. However, now that you have revealed your trade secret to the world, guess what? Kiss it goodbye!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Comboman, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:12am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      How do you think they came up with New Coke? :-P

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:50am

      Re: Coke's The One...

      canteens are far better than bottled water.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Griff (profile), 3 Nov 2009 @ 4:37am

      Bottles of urine

      --- Three decades ago, I invented filling up Coke bottles with urine.---

      That's where Red Bull came from...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    roxanneadams (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:01am

    I was telling a friend of mine the other day how bottled water in 3 gallon jugs has been sold via home delivery in Los Angeles for more than 100 years. From living back east, he didn't remember a similiar service, but he did recall clearly that relatives of his were buying small bottles of water by the case, as far back as the early 1960's. It was fashionable among the upper-middle-class Easterners. So bottled water is neither new nor revolutionary and it existed long before 1981.

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  • icon
    senshikaze (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:08am

    bottled water has been around quite a while before either of these jackasses.
    i think perrier has been around since the late 1800's.

    and they did:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perrier

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:09am

    My heritage goes back to the first single cell amoeba that decided having more than one cell was a good thing. I think the rest of you should pay up for copying my innovation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:16am

    Ah ha!

    But I came up with the idea of watering a bottle!

    See, my innovation is to build the bottle first...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:23am

    "Even so... there's so much wrong with this. First, $1.26 billion? For the "idea" of filtered bottled water? And for a lawsuit filed nearly thirty years after the alleged conversation? Nearly fifteen years after the product came to market? ..."

    What exactly is wrong with this ? - $1.26 billion for a company which has so much respect for the law they don't even show up in court ? Did the excuse "I just forgot..." or "the dog ate it" ever excuse you your homework from school ?.
    Filtered bottled water is not obvious - who would have thought that Americans are dumb enough to pay such a huge premium for a water product they can get from the tap in their homes (and only Americans do that - it failed in Europe).
    Suing years after the infringement is not uncommon and there are lots of possible reasons for that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:37am

      Re: Filtered bottled water is not obvious

      Maybe (although personally I think it is)- but there was plenty of prior art - almost all mineral waters (eg Perrier) are filtered before bottling and have been for many many years.

      The case is simply ridiculous.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re: Filtered bottled water is not obvious

        "The case is simply ridiculous."

        Perhaps they simply didn't realize the seriousness of someone suing them over the idea of PUTTING WATER IN A CONTAINER!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Vincent Clement, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re: Filtered bottled water is not obvious

        Let's ignore the most important prior art: Mother Nature. The earth has been filtering and purifying water for thousands of years.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Filtered bottled water is not obvious

          And my great grandparents were bottling it on the farm in the early 1900's. I don't know about my great great grandparents, but since the farm has been passed down for several generations, I'd say they did too.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      Considering that bottled water was already around, I'm pretty sure filtered bottle water is kinda obvious. And you can buy bottled water in europe so i'm not quite sure what you're talking about.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      What exactly is wrong with this ? - $1.26 billion for a company which has so much respect for the law they don't even show up in court ?

      No, $1.26 billion for an *idea*.

      Did the excuse "I just forgot..." or "the dog ate it" ever excuse you your homework from school ?.

      No doubt, Pepsi screwed up in not showing up, but not showing up doesn't justify the award.

      Filtered bottled water is not obvious

      Are you really insisting that these two guys were the only ones who came up with it?

      who would have thought that Americans are dumb enough to pay such a huge premium for a water product they can get from the tap in their homes (and only Americans do that - it failed in Europe).

      Perhaps that's because of the *marketing* not the idea.

      Suing years after the infringement is not uncommon and there are lots of possible reasons for that.

      Name one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        "No, $1.26 billion for an *idea*."
        No it's a default judgment against the party that doesn't show, not an evaluation of the idea.

        "...doesn't justify the award."
        Yes it does - contempt for the legal system is serious, and the default judgment follows the rules.

        "Are you really insisting that these two guys were the only ones who came up with it?"
        You only need to be first not the "only", and that is for the parties to the lawsuit to show not me.

        "Name one."
        Do your own homework it's not difficult - or did you just forget ?.

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        • identicon
          AC, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You only need to be first not the "only", and that is for the parties to the lawsuit to show not me.

          I hate to point out something that other people have pointed out, but these two yahoo's are not the first to have the idea.

          Aside from Perrier, Evian has been selling bottled water since the early 1900's, and they have been selling water in plastic bottles since the late 1960's. It's difficult to believe that two guys in the 80's came up with the idea.

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        • identicon
          Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          A default judgment has NOTHING to do with contempt. It's simply there to make the process efficient. A default judgment is strictly a procedural matter, and so is a motion and order to vacate a default judgment.

          Also, Pepsi, like any other public corporation is required by law to have an agent for service of court documents in any state in which it does business. So, if these dopes just dropped it on a secretary's desk instead of doing the due diligence to locate the listed agent for service, then service was improperly performed, which would more than validate a motion to vacate judgment.

          Once that happens then the case begins in earnest. So before you go off half-cocked ranting about Pepsi's deep-seated contempt for all that is just and good, try to learn a little about what the hell you're talking about first.

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          • icon
            TxLegalBegal (profile), 3 Nov 2009 @ 4:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            First...know your facts of the case, before you respond. Service WAS completed on the registered agent for Pepsi. The agent forwarded the summons to the company's Headquaters. The seceratary laid the Federal Summons to the side and never informed anyone of the fact.
            Pepsi is them served with Lawful notice of the Judgment by Default...and then they want to scream, "we had no notice."
            Sorry, Federal Court is so much different than state courts. See, the Court would not have Granted the Default Judgment without Proof of proper service.
            All Pepsi can do is...1) try to settle out of court with the plaintiff's, 2) put the Seceratary on a Longggggggg vacation, and 3) find their Registered Agent, buy a new rope and hang him.
            How hard could it have been to FAX the summons over to the Company's Lawyers and then mail it to them overnight?

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        • icon
          Brian (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "You only need to be first not the "only", and that is for the parties to the lawsuit to show not me."

          If you read even some of these comments you would have seen several bottled water companies named that have been doing this since the late 1800's and early 1900's. So they were first.

          "Do your own homework it's not difficult - or did you just forget ?."

          No homework has been done and one cannot be found, you use this line because you know there is not a case in which this is true and therefor have to try and insult others instead.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      "Filtered bottled water is not obvious"

      and this is the mentality of intellectual property maximists. They think that EVERY idea is non obvious and that ALL ideas deserve monopoly rents.

      This is just more evidence that intellectual property is not about what's best for society but it's about giving special interest groups more control over the masses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re:

        This issue is trade secret, not patent. No so-called "monopoly rents" for trade secret.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ah, without a patent, the only way that this trade secret could obligate Pepsi is if they had agreed upfront not to use the idea independent of a contract with the water bottle geniuses. Then it would be a contractual obligation and the word trade secret would actually have legal force here.

            EXCEPT, the statute of limitations on the contract would have run a long, long, longlonglong, long time ago.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              EXCEPT, the statute of limitations on the contract would have run a long, long, longlonglong, long time ago.

              Umm, I don't think "the statute of limitations" generally covers contracts.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Umm, I don't think "the statute of limitations" generally covers contracts."

                It can cover certain clauses within contracts.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_limitations

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              • identicon
                Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Well, I should have specified, but actually yes, there are many statutes of limitation and some do apply to contract law. Of course this depends upon the specific civil code and jurisdiction that the case is filed in.

                In California for instance, it's two years for an oral agreement and 4 years for a written one.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 4:22pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Well, I should have specified, but actually yes, there are many statutes of limitation and some do apply to contract law.

                  Thanks for the thoughtful correction.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The idea is that there are all sorts of reasons why it is not worth it for the court to try a matter after an extended period (which is usually prescribed in the civil code of procedure): diminishing quality of evidence and passive ratification being two major factors.

                Basically, you can't expect the court to try 30 year old evidence on a tort that you sat around and waited a good 15 years to pile up damages on, when it's pretty clear to everybody that you should have spoken up way back when. At some point they're going to say you've done nothing about it for too long.

                There are exceptions. I don't you'll find them in this case.

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              • identicon
                Willton, 2 Nov 2009 @ 9:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Umm, I don't think "the statute of limitations" generally covers contracts.

                Then you think wrong. Damn near every civil cause of action has a statute of limitations tied to it, breach of contract inclusive. Even first year law students know that a failure to timely file a cause of action within the "SoL" will create a defense to enforcement. Feel free to look up the statutes of limitations in your local jurisdiction.

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                • identicon
                  Jason, 3 Nov 2009 @ 11:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yes, even first year law students know this. But that hardly makes it common knowledge. The guy already came back and thanked us for the info. Let's not shove it in his face.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2009 @ 9:20pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Then you think wrong. Damn near every civil cause of action has a statute of limitations tied to it, breach of contract inclusive. Even first year law students know that a failure to timely file a cause of action within the "SoL" will create a defense to enforcement. Feel free to look up the statutes of limitations in your local jurisdiction.

                  Hey Wilton,
                  Why are you such an asshole? The poster already admitted he was mistaken before you went off on him. What, you smelled blood in the water and just couldn't resist? Typical lawyer, you are.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2009 @ 1:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Hey Wilton,
                    Why are you such an asshole? The poster already admitted he was mistaken before you went off on him. What, you smelled blood in the water and just couldn't resist? Typical lawyer, you are.


                    Yep. Best I remember, he works for the entertainment industry. So you better be careful calling him names or anything because he probably covert gov't connections.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            But, they are not a patent. For example, the formula for Coke is a trade secret, not a patent. The only "monopoly rent" Coke can obtain from the formula on Coke is the amount that a willing buyer will pay in view of the intense competition in the cola wars.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          and this person is claiming a monopoly rent, or at least they are trying to use the law to stifle competition (same effect). As if Pepsi needed these people to come up with the idea of bottled water.

          But this is just more evidence of how broken intellectual property laws are.

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          • identicon
            Willton, 2 Nov 2009 @ 9:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            But this is just more evidence of how broken intellectual property laws are.

            No it's not. It's just evidence of how dumb some litigants can be.

            Moreover, I find it very specious of you to claim that this is evident of broken IP laws when you don't even know the identity or the content of the IP law that is being asserted in this case.

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    • icon
      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      "Filtered bottled water is not obvious - who would have thought that Americans are dumb enough to pay such a huge premium for a water product they can get from the tap in their homes (and only Americans do that - it failed in Europe)."

      One, filtering water that you plan to put in bottles and sell at a later date is pretty much the high water mark (pardon the pun) of obvious. Unless you're selling algae as a health food, that is.

      Two, Bottled water failed in Europe? You haven't actually been there, have you?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Excuse me? What am I missing here? Perrier has been bottling water for about 100 years or more, successfully, and charging ridiculous prices for it. So how can you say that bottling of water failed in Europe?

      Also, this is not an infringment issue, it is trade secret. Quite different.

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    • identicon
      Vincent Clement, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      Filtered bottled water is not obvious

      Yes, because over the past 100 or so years, no wine, liquor, beer, juice or milk company has every filtered their specific liquid and put into a bottle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Urza9814, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      Um, when was the last time you were in Europe? Because I was there over the summer, and at least in England and Germany bottled water was as prevalent as it is here in the US.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      "Filtered bottled water is not obvious"

      Umm, what? It seem patently obvious to me, no pun intended.

      Beside, the prior art is copious. I remember being able to buy filtered bottled water in the early seventies. I remember reading instruction in a science experiment book written in the '40s where they recommended purchasing bottles of filtered water for some of the experiments.

      So, even if not obvious, it's been around for a very, very long time.

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    • icon
      Chris Maresca (profile), 3 Nov 2009 @ 8:49am

      Re:

      Er, I lived in Europe for almost 20 years. Bottled water was FAR more popular in Europe and existed way before it ever appeared in the US. I was always surprised at the lack of bottled water in the US in the 1970's and 1980's. Just look up brands like Spa, Vittle, Evian and, as someone else mentioned, Perrier. They've been around for a century or more.

      I would actually go so far as to say that bottled water, the kind that is portable, not in 3 gallon jugs, was almost invited in Europe it's such a common staple. In fact, to this day if you go a restaurant, they will ask you if you want a bottle of water, something I've never even encountered in the US.

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  • icon
    iamtheky (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:26am

    They were already selling filtered bottled water. This version is just missing the carbonation and heavy syrup, its a super diet caffeine free Pepsi lite.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:39am

    This is ridiculous, I hope pepsi appeals and wins.

    *Waiting for brain dead shill to say

    "Yes, but bottled water is an obvious idea now but it wasn't back then."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      "*Waiting for brain dead shill to say

      "Yes, but bottled water is an obvious idea now but it wasn't back then.""

      Wait, the brain dead poster on Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:23am already said something to that extent. I'm too late.

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  • icon
    ethorad (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:41am

    only fools and litigators?

    This was on an "only fools and horses" episode where they sold bottled tap water. Apparently first broadcast in 1992: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Nature%27s_Son_(Only_Fools_and_Horses)

    If Pepsi started selling bottled tapwater in the mid nineties perhaps they could claim to be taking inspiration from DelBoy? :)

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  • icon
    drteknikal (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:57am

    gotta love default judgements

    Absurd, but when you fail to appear, it becomes your fault most of the time. Anyone want to explain what happens on appeal of a default judgement? What are grounds for appeal, and can you contest findings of fact?

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    • identicon
      Christopher Smith, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:17am

      Re: gotta love default judgements

      IANAL, so I can't speak to the general case, but as I understand it Pepsi is saying that they weren't properly notified of the lawsuit (even though the plaintiffs told the court they had) and so the default judgment should be thrown out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:39pm

      Re: gotta love default judgements

      A default judgment means there wasn't even a hearing or trial to appear at. For a default to be entered, there would have been no responsive pleadings filed (answer, response, demurrer, etc).

      A default judgment generally does not require an appeal, especially when there's a deficiency in service. The likely procedure would be a motion to vacate the default judgment based upon the service deficiency, followed by the appropriate responsive pleading. At that point the case goes forward as though the default was never entered.

      Disclaimer, I am not a lawyer. I am definitely not your lawyer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grimby, 2 Nov 2009 @ 10:59am

    Pepsi can't blame anyone but themselves. They probably could have sent the most retarded lawyer they could find and won the case if only they showed up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      "Pepsi can't blame anyone but themselves. They probably could have sent the most retarded lawyer they could find and won the case if only they showed up."

      Yeah, y'know what? If that's the case, when the case was presented you'd think the judge would have dismissed it as being "just plain silly" (I'm assuming there's a legal term that corresponds to that, although I have to admit I've seen no evidence so far.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re:

        No, in a default jugdment, the case doesn't get 'presented' other than in the original filings. Default means there was no answer filed and the plaintiff wins by,...tada, default.

        The general rule of procedure in an adversarial court system is that the court does not act of it's own initiative except in very specific situations. If there is not a responsive filing to initiate the court's denial of a default, then in most cases, only a clear procedural deficiency would prevent the default from being entered.

        I am not a lawyer. I just correct their mistakes. I am definitely not your lawyer, so you are responsible for your own actions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Andy (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:07am

    Dear USA

    Dear USA, Please (please, please) reform your seriously broken patent laws before our idiotic legislators here in Europe decide to adopt the same cracked system...because I truly fear they one day will.

    Thanks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    iamtheky (profile), 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:11am

    http://www.calistogawater.com/History.aspx

    starting in 1920 and refining a business model 50 years later to maximize profits, sounds like some damn prior art. And eliminates the "thats just some europeans dipping milk bottles in the glacier water, so its not filtered" argument.

    I would imagine this gets filtered somewhere along the line because holding buckets over the geyser would burn a bit and make for some gritty, chunky water.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chicago auto insurance, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:21am

    I'm not sure how many of the comments are of devil's advocacy and how many are attempting to start flame wars but seriously $1.26 Billion for a soft case (at best) for the idea of bottled water. The guys that filed I'm sure are now hoping to get a great settlement and move along. Pepsi should have showed up but the courts should be more credible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    maniac in a speedo, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:28am

    hey!

    Someone needs to alert the Culligan Man.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim L, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:29am

    Sliced Bread

    I just remembered that years ago, I first invented the process of slicing the bread before it's sold!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The birds the word, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:32am

    Oink, my belt just broke!!!!

    Judge Judy must have been presiding over this case.
    If someone from Pepsi had actually shown up, and it was a male, it probably would have cost Pepsi another 3.2 billion.

    What kind of system has a default judgment amount that high.
    I think I will sue Pepsi for shitty tasting product, and when they don't show up I will get a nice cool 1.26 Billion deposited to my Swiss Bank account.

    What an f'd up world we live in

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:36am

    correction...

    "a FORMER Pepsi secretary apparently forgot to pass on the letter alerting them to the lawsuit, so they didn't respond"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 11:46am

    It's not about "bottling" the water

    Just to clarify an issue that is being overlooked. I don’t think the question is about “bottling” the water. In fact, it’s about how to make money without “bottling” the water. If you look at how companies like Pepsi and Coke make the bulk of their money, it’s in selling things like the “syrup” that goes into making Pepsi to places that actually make it (even though some of the bottle plants are in fact owned by the parent). This was one of the “challenges” they faced, as in “what do I ‘sell’ someone to make water?”

    I forget who did what, but if I recall, each took their own path (my recollection here is sparse, so the details may be off). One sells a “filter” they require bottlers to use (and thus make the money off the filter). The other sells an “additive” (e.g. minerals, etc.).

    Admittedly, I’ve not read the legal brief, but my guess is the suit is over the process/mechanism that a company like Coke/Pepsi could use with their business model (relying on others to “finish” the products) in "selling water". This is notable different than just putting some water in a bottle. (Although it really makes you wonder “why” such hoops need to be invented in the first place.)

    I’ll leave the discussion as to whether or not the suit has merit to others, but figured a better understanding of the process might help a more informed view.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Duston, 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:26pm

    Dehydrated water

    It's my idea! Dehydrated water, just add water!
    I was brain storming with my brothers LONG ago around 1980 about this. So filling my said idea up with water and marketing them as hydrated bottles of water is an infringement, and these two guys should owe me 2billion. Any one have the number to a good attorney?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:28pm

      Re: Dehydrated water

      Actually the cure to dehydration is water so the FDA needs to ban water and give it control to pharmaceutical corporations. They can get a patent on it and sell it in pill form. Then we'll all be better off.

      And for justification they can do some research and development on water and its benefits and claim that all that R&D justifies them getting a patent on water.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lucretious, 2 Nov 2009 @ 12:47pm

    "It's not a perfect system, but it works"

    -Some Asshole

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cowardace Male, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:04pm

    C'mon

    To all that would defend these two imbeciles:

    If you really believe that they deserve this much money why are we not all getting together, finding a friend that works as a highly ranking secretary and suing the pants off their company?

    C'mon think about it, so 2 yahoo's and a shitty secretary splitting 1.26 BILLION 3 ways?...seems motive to lie to me.

    Again, if you are defending these two you obviously need a lesson in common sense, what they're doing is appalling and it's a tragedy if they even see 1 penny.

    Unbelievable how people from other parts of the world want to come to America for a chance to work for a good life, people born into America think they're privileged, don't need to work, and need to find a way to rob a bank or scam the system.

    ^sorry for the rant, I know most of us are in the working class and have no intentions of scamming people/companies, just a generalized rant of the people in this country.

    /soapbox

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NullOp, 2 Nov 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Ha!

    I reject all previous comments and substitute my own: 1.26 BILLION dollars is exactly the right amount to pay for hijacking such a ridiculous idea as bottled, filtered water.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Wait a second here... Pepsi buys North America Bev Distribution...

    I just dug a little deeper, and it appears that a company called Wis-Pack (one of the two listed plaintiffs) is currently active in bottling and distribution of Aquafina for Pepsi.

    "Total there are 34 WisPak shareholders representing 52 franchises throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota."

    "We are proud to distribute Aquafina and Klarbrunn water in a variety of packages."

    http://www.manta.com/company/mmncrsx
    http://www.wis-pak.com/
    http://www.tmqc2.info/i ndex.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=40

    I bet there's more to this story because the EU announced that PepsiCo was cleared to purchase bottling and arms across 80% of North America. Perhaps these regional bottlers were shown the door and lost distribution rights..?

    http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/2067321,10,eu_clears_pepsico_to_buy_pepsi_bottling_group,item .html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2009 @ 3:24pm

      Re: Wait a second here... Pepsi buys North America Bev Distribution...

      You're off by a little. It seems the agreement was between Charles & James v Wis-Pak & Carolina Canners. Pepsi was also thrown into suit but simply didn't respond.

      According to the complaint filed by Charles A. Joyce and James R. Voigt on April 28, 2009, they entered into a confidentiality agreement in 1981 with Arnold E. Fobes, then the vice president and general manager of Wis-Pak, Inc. and Carolina Canners, Inc., regarding a product idea referred to as “U.P.”

      “U.P.,” according to the complaint, is bottled water, and has since been marketed by Pepsi as Aquafina: “The Defendants have used the Plaintiffs’ U.P. trade secret for the benefit of themselves in the manufacture, distribution and sale of Aquafina and such use constitutes misappropriation of Plaintiffs’ trade secret.”

      Wis-Pak and Carolina Canners answered the complaint, but Pepsi did not.

      Source:
      http://wislawjournal.com/article.cfm/2009/11/02/126-billion-default-judgment-entered- against-Pepsi-Pepsi-seeking-to-vacate-judgment

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glitchus, 2 Nov 2009 @ 8:55pm

    PEPSI= DIOT

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rabbit80 (profile), 3 Nov 2009 @ 2:27am

    I don't understand how they can make money from bottled water - after all you cant expect these companies to compete with the ample "free" water we get from our taps. The music industry have "proven" this theory!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Aili, 4 Nov 2009 @ 7:36am

    Case name?

    Does anyone know the name of this case? How it would appear in a court document?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cougardenstorage.com, 13 Aug 2010 @ 8:38am

    Pepsi is going to pay over a billion dollars to someone who "stole" the idea for bottled water, crazy-over a billion dollars!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jjones444, 30 Nov 2010 @ 11:14am

    Love these guys. I wish I could sue Pepsi for stealing my idea. The idea of bottled water was bound to come around sooner or later. The military had already had plastic canteens for their members out in battle, and the shape of the Aquafina bottle isn't anything new. So what are these guys trying to sue over? If it were possible to sue for this, the line for suing would be out the door.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shyloh Jacobs, 12 Jan 2011 @ 9:51am

    Interesting

    Wow, that makes perfect sense! Don't you think that the lawsuit should have been filed at least within a year of the product launching? That's like hiring roofing contractors and complaining twenty years later about a leak and wanting them to replace everything that has had water damage over the past twenty years. Sometimes people make me laugh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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