Oslo soda-maker loses to Coke

The Coca-Cola Company prevails in lawsuit against “Jalla” brand soda

JallaSprite

Photo: O. Mathisen
The soda formerly known as JallaSprite may not look much like Coca-Cola’s version, but a court ruled on April 16 against use of the name.

Pieter Wijnen
Norway Today

Soda manufacturer O. Mathisen has to pay just shy of NOK 500,000 in compensation and legal costs to the Coca-Cola Company. This happens after having lost a lawsuit from the soft drink giant.

According to a verdict by Oslo District Court on April 16, the soda producer O. Mathisen in Oslo cannot use the brand JallaSprite, or similar, that can be mistaken for the brand Sprite from Coca-Cola. They are also banned from using the brand JallaXXXXXX, writes Vårt Oslo.

Temporary injunctions in the case have previously been treated both by the Oslo District Court and Borgarting Court of Appeal, writes Rettspraksis.no. The verdict concerns the ordinary trial.

The Norwegian soda manufacturer, which also manufactures Tøyen-Cola, is sentenced to pay compensation to Coca-Cola of NOK 281,000. The demand from the soft drink giant was for NOK 330,000. In addition, O. Mathisen is ordered to pay court costs of NOK 200,000. All in all, they thus have to pay NOK 481,000.

Censorship

In the verdict by Oslo District Court, it is stated that the word Jalla in front of the word Sprite is not good enough to separate the two citric sodas.

The court believes that JallaXXXXXX is not a trademark infringement by O. Mathisen as such but believes that it appears as if the name was chosen to maintain the association with Sprite, and to signal that they have been subjected to censorship by the Coca-Cola Company.

Note: The Norwegian slang word “Jalla” is derived from Middle Eastern French “j’alla” (in the sense of “come on, hurry up”). It can be used ironically and sometimes connotes fakeness.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

This article originally appeared in the May 3, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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