Colombian manufacturer of a coca based beverage has attracted the unwanted attention of Coca-Cola company over a naming dispute with one of their trademarks, as seen in Bogota on Friday.
Coca Pola and Coca Libre – one of the soft drinks made by the local company Coca Nasa, an indigenous run cola company – are seen by the international beverage giant as too similar to their trademarked red canned soda.
The artisanal drinks are made from coca leaf that grows in Cauca, a region inhabited by the Nasa indigenous people. Coca Nasa also produces coca-based beer, snacks and rum, among other products.
At the beginning of December, a Bogota law firm representing Coca Cola filed a lawsuit against Coca Nasa, asking them to drop the name Coca Pola as it could be ‘confused with the trademarks’ of the American company and ‘may violate Colombian trademark law.’
“Coca is one of the main symbols that characterize the Nasa people, it is one of the main identities, it is what has identified us ancestrally, for thousands of years as a culture and as Nasa people,” Fabiola Pinacue, founder of Coca-Pola said, adding that Coca Cola lawsuit is “wrong because they came and usurped our knowledge thinking that they could deed it and that it could be theirs, well no, they were wrong because they have not come to request it, there is no trace of an express request to any community to make use of the product and much less the name.”