Adele’s boyfriend in court trademark showdown with Pepsi
Sunday 01 September 2013
The boyfriend of Adele, the singer, will face the soft drinks giant PepsiCo in court on Monday in the latest episode of a trademark dispute which has lasted four years.
Simon Konecki, whose bottled drinks company Life UK Ltd donates profits to clean water projects in developing countries, is battling to stop PepsiCo from selling its SoBe Lifewater brand in the UK. He argues that the name is too close to his Life bottled water, which is commonly referred to as Life water.
The former city trader, who has a 10-month-old son with the multi-award-winning artist Adele, set up the company in 2006 to generate funding for his charity, Drop4Drop.
Life UK Ltd says it provides up to 1,000 litres of clean water to developing countries for each bottle it sells.
A spokeswoman for Pepsi said that SoBe Lifewater is a vitamin drink, whereas Life water is pure water.
Pepsi already sells SoBe Lifewater in the US but is now trying to apply to have the name registered in other countries, including Britain. The company says it has no plans to use the trademark in the UK but the spokeswoman said it hadn’t been ruled out.
Mr Konecki told The Independent: “This has been going on for four years. Four years, they’re just bullies … it’s finally come to a head, this is it.”
He said he offered to allow PespiCo to use the name if they pledged to make donations to Drop4Drop, but they refused. He added that he doesn’t believe the company when it says it has no plans to use the name in the UK.
A statement from PepsiCo said: “We ... believe confusion in the market is unlikely given the different nature of the products.”
The hearing is expected to conclude on Monday.
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