Starbucks goes after Missouri brewery for “Frappicino” beer
COTTLEVILLE, MO (KTVI) – Jeff Britton is the owner of Exit 6 Brewery in Cottleville, Missouri. Britton’s phone has been ringing off the hook from people all over the United States, from media outlets, beer lovers and supporters after he received a cease and desist letter from Starbucks.
“It got started by somebody posting on the website untappd that I had a beer called Frappicino available and the lawyers were combing the internet and came across that name,” said Britton.
Starbucks lawyers thought the name too closely resembled Starbucks. In the letter from Starbucks the letter says in part: ‘As you probably know, Starbucks coffee is the owner of a number of trademarks, including the Frappuccino trademark.’ They sent me a cease and desist letter asking me not to sell any beer using their trademark,” said Jeff Britton.
The Starbucks letter also states, “that the similar names might cause customers to mistakenly believe that Exit 6 or this beer product is affiliated with or licensed by Starbucks Coffee Company , when they are not.”
Exit 6 was given 14 days to respond to Starbucks to remove any sources of potential confusion with the Starbucks brand.
Jeff Britton sent a letter apologizing that three of his customers referred to his vanilla creme ale and stout concoction as a “Frappicino.” He even sent a check to repay the company for the profits he gained from the beer — a full $6.
Britton went as far as to cease using the word Frappuccino, but he used that F word in his letter when he wrote back to Starbucksand he stopped selling the beer.
“I can understand where they are coming from they have to protect their nameand the letter just seem kind of silly to me because they actually thought a small business like myself would hurt them or soil their name in some way and the money they spent on lawyers could have cleared this up easy,” said Britton.