One Way To Handle Trademark Infringement

I had to interrupt my series on disclaimers, privacy policies and terms of use for this tidbit of trademark temerity.

A brewer was caught infringing the trademark of a famous brand,  Frappuccinotm for Starbuckstm frozen coffee. Read the article to learn a lot about trademark infringement. In fact, the entire cease and desist letter from Starbucks’ attorney is shown there.

Although in this case the brewery made a decent recovery, turning the problem into a marketing bonanza for themselves, it is never a good idea to intentionally infringe a trademark. So I don’t recommend that you try this stunt to improve your own business prospects.

But the article brings up other another issue: fair use of the word Frappuccino for comparison purposes (in the sentence “This tastes like a Frappuccino.”).

Here’s what I want to know: Everyone wants to root for the little guy, but why would the brewery be proud of not owning a trademark on anything? Does that seem like a good way to run a growing company?

Just sayin’.


(HT to Sam Cousins)


(Frappuccinotm and Starbuckstm are registered trademarks of Starbucks Corporation)

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