Starbucks, a coffeehouse chain, is trying to postpone the registration of an Alaska company’s brand for coffee and clothing, which Starbucks claim is too similar to their brand.
Since the beginning of the previous year, the company from Wasilla called Mountains & Mermaids has been branding their clothes with the picture of a siren or mermaid holding a mug of coffee. In addition, they began applying this design to their coffees. At the end of 2018, the company applied with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in order to brand the name ‘Siren’s Brew’ for their items.
At the moment, Mountains & Mermaids are in conflict with Starbucks, who demand that the trademark office decline the application. The focus of the dispute is the word ‘siren.’
Namely, Starbucks officials stated in August that they have applied to brand the name ‘Siren’s Blend’ for their coffee products in February. And in May, the trademark office declined Starbucks’s application due to the possibility of confusion with ‘Siren’s Brew’.
Mountains & Mermaids is a retailer that was founded in 2017. Monica Hamilton, the owner of the business alongside her daughter Sarah, has pointed out that the majority of their products include nautical pictures, and that and nearly a dozen retailers in Alaska are in possession of their products.
The business had applied for the trademark of the words ‘Siren’s Brew,’ and not for a certain picture, but the term is applied to items which include the design of a mermaid or a siren that holds a coffee mug. The design contains a quote: ‘A siren requires one morning coffee before a day of demolishing ships & drowning people.’ The said quote is on their mugs, stickers, shirts, coffee, hoodies, etc.
Hamilton and her daughter were surprised when they found out about Starbucks’ objection to their brand application. Additionally, she asserted that there isn’t any kind of confusion about the brand and that they have no interest in meddling with Starbucks’ business or vice versa.
Starbucks claims the usage of a siren on their products doesn’t end there, but that they too want to apply the word ‘Siren’ in their branding. The company enumerates a number of items and marketing plans where they used the word or the picture of a siren. Starbucks officials pointed out that their employees use the word to make a reference to their business and their products.
On Wednesday, the company issued a statement saying that for almost 50 years Starbucks has been spending money in making the association between coffee and the Siren. What’s more, they said that the Siren was crucial to their logo since the company’s founding in 1971 and that it is the face of their brand around the world.
Erik Pelton, a lawyer who represents the company from Wasilla, has said that Mountains & Mermaids don’t argue about the fact that Starbucks is renowned and successful. He added that they want to argue about whether they have the rights to use the word ‘Siren,’ or ‘Siren’s Brew,’ based on the nature of their company’s logo. He stated they didn’t think so.
Pelton asserted that the term employees in Starbucks use to depict its branding is not the same thing as a trademark. He is currently writing a reply to Starbucks’ objection and intends to send it to the trademark office during the next week.
Last month, Mountains & Mermaids posted on Facebook regarding the dispute saying that they have no plans of backing down.