Fake Red Bull under investigation

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) is investigating several companies that may be responsible for importing and distributing energy drinks into the US that breach trademarks and copyright of market leader, Red Bull.

The investigation was instigated by Austria-based Red Bull, which wants the USITC to issue cease and desist orders to the companies named in the action.

Red Bull lodged a complaint with USITC last month, claiming violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act.

Red Bull could not be contacted before publication time today to provide further detail on the nature of the breaches by the six regional US distributors.

USITC emphasised it had not made any decision on the merits of the case, but would assign a judge to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether section 337 has indeed been breached.

That judicial determination will then be assessed by the USITC, expected within 45 days unless there is an intervention by a US Trade Representative.

The companies under investigation are Chicago Import Inc; Lamont Distributors Inc; India Imports Inc; Washington Food and Supply of D.C., Inc; Vending Plus Inc and the Baltimore Beverage Company.

Red Bull Cola and cocaine

Red Bull has been in the news recently after traces of cocaine were detected in its cola drink – Red Bull Simply Cola – by food safety experts in a German state.

Red Bull said the non-hazardous decocainised cocoa extracts were legal and commonly used by soft drink makers, and the national German food safety authority said there was no threat to public safety.

But a major German retailer pulled the product in six states and similar moves followed in Jordan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine inspected three Red Bull-producing facilities there and found no products contaminated with cocaine.

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