Starbucks Fails To Stop Local “Charbucks” Roaster
November 18, 2013
Starbucks didn’t convince an appeals court that customers were confused by the “Charbucks” coffee brand being offered by a small New Hampshire roaster. The long-awaited decision in the case, which began in 2001, will allow Black Bear Micro Roastery and its owner Wolfe’s Borough Coffee Inc. to continue offering “Charbucks Blend,” “Mister Charbucks,” and “Mr. Charbucks” coffee. To support its case, Starbucks presented the results of a 600-person phone survey in which the number one association with “Charbucks” was the Starbucks brand. But the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that survey unhelpful, because it asked consumers to consider the name in isolation and not in a real-world consumer context.
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