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Dr Pepper Saga|Comes to an End

DALLAS (CN) - Litigation between Dr Pepper Snapple and one of the last bottlers to use the original, cane-sugar Dr Pepper formula came to an end Wednesday, with the 120-year-old bottler agreeing to be purchased.

Plano-based DPS sued Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Dublin, Texas last June in Sherman, Texas Federal Court, seeking to terminate the parties' licensing agreement.

DPS claimed the bottler was selling its popular, cane-sweetened soda outside its six-county territory through a toll-free number and website.

Under the terms of the settlement, DPS has purchased all of the Dublin bottler's sales and distribution operations and the rights to distribute Dr Pepper in the six-county territory previously served by Dublin.

DPS says it will sell the same cane-sweetened soda in distinct, nostalgic packaging - the only difference being no more references to Dublin.

The former Dr Pepper bottler will now do business as Dublin Bottling Works Inc. and will continue to produce other soft drinks and operate its museum and Old Doc's Soda Shop, offering tours and selling soft drinks, food and officially licensed Dr Pepper merchandise.

"Our main focus has always been on protecting the strength and integrity of the Dr Pepper trademark," DPS president of Packaged Beverages Roger Collins said in a statement. "We're pleased to reach an agreement that accomplishes that while also preserving the history and the special relationship Dr Pepper has with the Dublin community."

Dublin Bottling Works vice president Jeff Kloster told WFAA-TV: "You can't help but feel bad, but my grandfather would've said, 'Keep going.'"

The family has operated the bottler for four generations. Fourteen employees were fired Wednesday as a result of the settlement.

"The workers here are all like family," Kloster said.

Remaining employees spent Wednesday night taking down or covering up everything with the "Dublin Dr Pepper" name, WFAA reported.

Dublin is 120 miles southwest of Dallas in Erath County.

Dr Pepper aficionados understand that the soda's trade name has no period - a trait it shares with former President Harry S Truman, whose middle name has no period either, as Truman's middle name was S.

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