Sodalicious files counter-lawsuit against Swig in Utah ‘dirty soda’ war

Posted at 6:19 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 21:46:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A new battle has erupted in the legal war over the popular "dirty sodas" in Utah.

In a new filing in federal court obtained by FOX 13, the owners of Sodalicious denied the allegations made in a lawsuit by rival Swig, then filed a counter-lawsuit suggesting Swig does not have the corner market on flavored sodas and related items in the state.

"There are dedicated soda shacks like Fiiz, which has eleven locations in northern Utah, and Sip-N with three locations in Utah Valley. Pop’n Sweets has four locations on the Wasatch Front, and Swig has nine locations throughout the state. Sodalicious has six locations in Utah Valley. Then there are stand-alone shops like Sip It! in Ephraim, Straws in Midvale, Club Soda in Ogden, Fizz N Fryz in Logan, Rocket Fizz in Salt Lake City, Subz & Sodaz in Clearfield, Daylight Donuts in Springville, PopShop in Riverton, SlurpsUp in Cedar City, Sodaholics in Sandy, Swizzle in Delta, Quench It in Heber, Fryz in Hurricane, and Bev’s in Nephi, to name just a few," Sodalicious attorney Tessa Meyer Santiago wrote.

"Additionally, Maverik, Sonic, Gas ‘n Go, Conoco, Crest, and other gas stations throughout the state sell soda with flavored syrups. Restaurants like Cafe Rio and Zupas also sell flavored soda as part of their menu."

Sodalicious also claimed that as an industry practice, flavored soda is typically sold in white Styrofoam cups and "may include pebble ice, if that is the variety of ice sold by the vendor."

In September, Swig sued Sodalicious, accusing it of infringing upon its trademark on the word "dirty" to describe the flavored sodas, which have become incredibly popular in the state with people waiting in long drive-thru lines to add specialty syrups to their sodas.

Sodalicious accuses Swig of copying its logo, offerings and style of menu. The company claims its founders were mixing syrups in their drinks as far back as 1998. Still, Santiago wrote in the counterclaim, "consumers have no difficulty telling Swig and Sodalicious apart."

Sodalicious challenged the trademark Swig Holdings has on the term "dirty," referring to coconut syrup mixed in with sodas. Santiago included photos of other places that advertised "dirty drinks."

From the court filing:

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In its counterclaim, Sodalicious asks a federal judge to cancel Swig's trademark on the term "dirty" and seeks financial damages. A federal judge has tentatively scheduled a trial in the case in August 2017.

Read the filing by Sodalicious here: