Bar owner responds to 'Frappicino' cease and desist

Jan. 2, 2014 at 12:20 PM   |   0 comments

COTTLEVILLE, Mo., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A Missouri pub owner who received a cease-and-desist order from Starbucks for calling a beer "Frappicino" sent an apology letter to "Mr. Bucks" with a $6 check.

Jeff Briton, owner of the Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Cottleville, said the mixture of a vanilla creme and a chocolate coffee ale was compared to the iced coffee beverage from Starbucks by a customer and was dubbed "Frappicino," CNN reported Thursday.

Briton said he received a cease-and-desist order from Starbucks last week.

"The FRAPPICINO mark only differs from Starbucks Coffee Co.'s FRAPPUCCINO mark by one letter," the letter said, "and is phonetically identical."

Briton said he decided to send an apology letter to "Mr. Bucks" along with a check for all the profits from the frappicino beer, $6. The letter referred to the beverage as "the F word" to prevent further offense.

The letter said the spelling of Briton's beer was only "similar" to "the F Word" because the bar's workers are "poor spelers."

"We just feel awful about calling a beer the F Word," the letter went read. "We are bad people. We feel shame."

Briton said he has sold three of the offending beers, so he enclosed a check for $6 to cover the money he made.

Laurel Harper, a manager for Starbucks communication, said the company sent Briton a "respectful" notice when they discovered the name of the beer.

"Just like many businesses, trademark law requires all companies, including Starbucks, to consistently protect its brand," she said. "We always prefer to resolve trademark disputes informally and amicably whenever possible, and we appreciate Exit 6 Pub and Brewery respecting our request to avoid confusion among customers."

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