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Charbucks coffee

A tiny coffee producer from New Hampshire has prevailed in a trademark infringement case brought by Starbucks over a blend called “Charbucks”.

The small ‘company’ operates out of a barn, and uses the classic response: “We’re just a mom-and-pop little roastery”. Annie Clark and her husband Jim do not seem to agree with Starbucks’ trademark infringement claim.

They were sued in 2001 in a New York federal court by the coffee giant, stating the name “Charbucks” infringed, blurred and tarnished its famous trademarks.

After a long legal battle the small roastery prevailed: the appeal court agreed with the district court in finding minimal similarity and weak evidence of actual association between the brands.

Seattle-based Starbucks respects but disagrees with the court’s decision. And rightfully so, we think.