Say I've reverse-engineered the Coca-Cola formula, or produced something very similar in taste. Since the recipe is not patented, I can sell my product so long as I don't market it as Coke, Coca-Cola, etc. Say this formula is deemed safe and has been approved by the FDA and any other regulatory body. In particular, it does not include cocaine.

Would I be allowed to market this product as "Cocaine cola" or "Cocaine soda?" To sidestep the potential trademark issue, could I name an independently conceived product after a drug? Going a step beyond saying it's "like crack" and instead saying naming a brand of potato chips "edible meth" or similar?

Edit: Specifically would there be a problem when marketing food?

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    Isn’t there a perfume called Opium ? And at least one song called Heroin ? Apr 14, 2022 at 20:19
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    The perfume I was not privy to, but the song I think would be regulated differently since there's no reasonable way someone could get confused about a song containing drugs.
    – DanishChef
    Apr 14, 2022 at 20:22
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1 Answer 1


Would I be allowed to market this product as "Cocaine cola" or "Cocaine soda?"

Possibly not if you were to try and register the name, as this may well fall foul of s.3(3)(a), Trademarks Act 1994 which says:

A trade mark shall not be registered if it is—

  • (a) contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality...

The government's Manual of Trade Marks Practice, at section 5.8, explains that:

Marks which may be ‘contrary to public policy’ are those, for example, that make specific references to illegal drugs such as cocaine... (my emphasis)

  • This restricts what trademarks can be registered but could I still market the product as such without a registered mark?
    – DanishChef
    Apr 14, 2022 at 21:16
  • The Supreme Court has just about blow that provision up. They ok’ed Slants for a band made up of Asian guys and FUCT as a name if a shirt. Apr 14, 2022 at 22:13

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