30 October 2015Trademarks

Coffee shop embroiled in ‘F*ckoffee’ TM row

A London-based coffee shop has vowed to submit a trademark application for the term ‘F*ckoffee’ after the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) rejected its application for the term but with the swear word spelled out in full for being “highly offensive”.

On October 28, the shop tweeted a photo of the IPO’s rejection letter for its trademark application.

The trademark examiner cited section 3 of the 1994 Trade Marks Act, which prohibits registration of a mark that is “contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality”.

“The mark contains the highly offensive word ‘f**k’ prominently positioned at the beginning of the mark. Although, the letter ‘c’ from the word ‘coffee’ is missing and the two words are conjoined, the highly offensive word remains very obvious in the mark,” the letter said.

An application for the mark was filed in November 2014 and the final refusal was issued by the UK IPO in March.

Nevertheless, the coffee shop continued to operate under the name until earlier this month when it was instructed by AM Surveying Holdings Limited, the owner of the building, to remove a sign which included the name.

On October 27, the shop confirmed it had changed the name to ‘f*ckoffee’ and two days later tweeted a photograph of its rejection letter, adding: “we will try f*ckoffee now”, indicating that it would file an application for the mark.

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