Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will appear in at least ten Federal Court opinions. The first is in 1991, in a seemingly irrelevant mention of the TMNT Cowabunga Cooler in a case about soft drink bottlers. Sun Dun sued Coca-Cola and PepsiCo alleging violations of antitrust laws.

sun dun vending

SUN DUN, INC. OF WASHINGTON, Plaintiff, v. THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, et al., Defendants
Civil No. S 88-2540
770 F. Supp. 285

Decided – August 15, 1991

In discussing summary judgment based on The Soft Drink Interbrand Competition Act, the Court says:

In addition to the fierce competition between the Coke and Pepsi brands, which cannot be gainsaid on this or any other terrestrial record (cf. the 1961 Billy Wilder movie “One, Two, Three”), there is overwhelming evidence that the Washington Metropolitan area is awash with hundreds of effectively competing soft drinks, fruit juices, and other liquid concoctions. Indeed, the range of brands competing for the soft drink buyer’s quarters boggles the lay mind, which seldom focuses on the array of such products; it includes (as so aptly put in PepsiCo’s supporting memorandum) everything from Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cowabunga Cooler.

Recall this is the height of the cola wars.