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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit gave new impetus Wednesday to a 15-year battle between Atlanta-based soft drink giant The Coca-Cola Co. and longtime rivals Royal Crown Cola Co. and Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. over Coke’s efforts to trademark the word “Zero” for exclusive use on its no-calorie sports and soft drinks.

The circuit court dealt a setback to Coke when it vacated and remanded the trademark case to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The three-judge panel ruled the board applied the incorrect legal standard when it decided in 2016 that Coke could trademark “Zero” for more than a dozen no-calorie soft drinks and sport drinks.

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R. Robin McDonald

Daily Report reporter R. Robin McDonald's journalism career includes stints as a staff writer at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Wichita Eagle, and The Anniston Star and as a trial tracker at CourtTV and CNN. She is the author of two true crime books -- Black Widow: The True Story of the Hilley Poisonings and Secrets Never Lie: The Death of Sara Tokars.

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