Speculation: Pepsi Smart Fountain / Pepsi Fusion – Competitor to Coca-Cola Freestyle


Update 5/24/13: Besides the Pepsi Fusion and Pepsi Smart Fountain ideas, Pepsi has been testing a different concept in Denver called the “Pepsi Touch Tower”. Read more details and watch video!


Original Story 5/2/13: Back in 2011, we wrote a story about a prototype machine from Pepsi that seemed to be their response to the Coca-Cola Freestyle. Based on trademark filings and other investigation, we discovered that concept was called the Pepsi Fusion.

Pepsi Smart Fountain

Pepsi Smart Fountain
(Name Source: US Patent and Trademark Office)

Thanks to a tip from a BevReview reader, we’ve learned that Pepsi has recently filed for trademarks on another name, Pepsi Smart Fountain.

Pepsi Fusion test at Quiznos (2011)

Pepsi Fusion test at Quiznos (2011)
(Source: BevReview Reader Submission)

Exploring filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office, a company by the name of Vendmore Systems first applied for a trademark on the name “Smart Fountain” (#85509966) in January 2012. This trademark application stalled “because the applicant neither satisfied nor overcame all requirements and/or refusals previously raised.”

Coca-Cola Freestyle

Coca-Cola Freestyle
(Source: Coca-Cola Media)

Video: Pepsi Fusion test at KFC
(Source: YouTube, 7/21/10)

PepsiCo came along in October 2012 and applied for their own trademark on “Smart Fountain” (#85750621). As of December 2012, however, they were sent a request “requiring additional information and/or making an initial refusal.” Then recently – April 16, 2013 to be exact – Pepsi applied for a derivative on the name, “Pepsi Smart Fountain” (#85903050). At the time of this story, this application is still in process.

Pepsi Fusion test at Panda Express (2010)

Pepsi Fusion test at Panda Express
(Source: YouTube, 7/15/2010)

In both of Pepsi’s applications, two classes of trademark were specified. First, we have ‘International Class 009/U.S Classes 021, 023, 026, 036, 038,’ which consists of “hardware and computer software for monitoring transaction, diagnostic and system information for refrigerated beverage dispensing units and beverage cooling and ice dispensing machines.”

Drink selection on Pepsi Fusion

Drink selection on Pepsi Fusion
(Source: YouTube, 6/21/2010)

The second class is ‘International Class 011/U.S Classes 013, 021, 023, 031, 034,’ denoting “refrigerated beverage dispensing units; beverage cooling and ice dispensing machines”

Pick a Pepsi and push!

Pick a Pepsi and push!
(Source: YouTube, 7/15/2010)

Meanwhile, looking back at the status of the “Pepsi Fusion” trademark (#77897923), this filing only consists of the second classification that we saw with “Smart Fountain”/”Pepsi Smart Fountain” — ‘International Class 011/U.S Classes 013, 021, 023, 031, 034,’ i.e. “refrigerated beverage dispensing units; beverage cooling and ice dispensing machines”.

Lots of Dew to choose from!

Lots of Dew to choose from!
(Source: YouTube, 6/21/2010)

Notably, the Coke Freestyle machine also has their trademark under this class alone (#77897369).

Video: Pepsi Fusion test at Panda Express
(Source: YouTube, 7/15/10)

At the time of our 2011 story, we speculated that Pepsi was perhaps going to use the alternate name of “Drinkfinity” instead of “Fusion” (#77561469, #85156726, #85156728). However, since that time, those applications have been abandoned, so that’s a dead end.

Drink selected!

Drink selected!
(Source: YouTube, 6/21/2010)

Curiously, however, Pepsi recently applied for and was granted an extension on their “Pepsi Fusion” application, as recent as April 30, 2013. That would indicate to us that this name is still currently in play, along with the “Smart Fountain” phrase.

Will see Pepsi finally rollout a competitor to Coke’s Freestyle machine? The trademark attorneys seem to think so. We’ll see if reality backs up the paperwork!