Black Bear Micro Roastery, a New Hampshire coffee roaster, finally prevailed against Starbucks in court, says the mothership. Starbucks failed to prove that its trademark was likely to be diluted by Black Bear's use of the term "Charbucks" on its dark roasted coffee. This is good news, Starbucks.
Someone must have been asleep at the PR switch at Starbucks in 1997, when they decided to sue this family-owned NH microroaster. Among coffee snobs at least, Starbucks has come to be associated with "charbucks," partially as a result of the publicity associated with this lawsuit. Over the years, Starbucks has become increasingly sensitive to charges that it over roasts its coffee, pointedly introducing a line of lighter roasts earlier this year. Oh, and to offset the costs of this losing lawsuit, Starbucks has decided to raise prices 1% in the Northeast and the Sun Belt(kidding, kidding--probably, totally unrelated).
· Starbucks Loses Lawsuit Over NH Roaster's 'Charbucks' [-EN-]
· Charbucks Wins Round 3 of Trademark Dispute with Starbucks [Foley & Hoag Trademark and Copyright Law Blog]
· Starbucks raising prices in US Northeast, Sunbelt [Reuters]
· All Starbucks Coverage on Eater Seattle [-ESEA-]