13 January 2016Trademarks

Starbucks angered by rival’s Freddoccino

Starbucks has sued a rival coffee chain alleging infringement of its trademarks for the term ‘Frappuccino’.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday, January 11, at the US District Court for the Western District of New York, Starbucks said Canadian company Obsidian’s Freddoccino drink infringes its trademarks.

Frappuccino is a frozen coffee, traditionally sold with whipped cream on top. The Seattle-headquartered company owns four registered trademarks for the term.

According to Starbucks, from October 1, 2014 to the end of September 2015, the drink generated more than $1.5 billion in sales.

Obsidian sells the Freddoccino, which is also a frozen coffee drink, at its line of Coffee Culture Cafe & Eatery locations in New York.

Starbucks said: “Obsidian’s unlawful actions are causing immediate and irreparable harm to Starbucks, as well as harming consumers of frozen blended beverages in New York State and elsewhere.

“The Freddoccino mark is similar to Starbucks’ famous Frappuccino mark in appearance, sound, and connotation: both begin with FR–, contain four syllables, end with –CCINO, and evoke a European-inspired cold coffee beverage,” the complaint concluded.

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