Many of you have asked us for an update on the trademark dispute with Starbucks. Out of respect for the legal process and against our better judgment, we have waited and not said much during the four year long dispute. A few months ago, judges at the US Patent and Trademark Officeruled that our SIREN’S BREW name could not be registered for coffee, but could be registered for clothing. Even though in our experience not a single customer has ever been confused, the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found that our SIREN’S BREW name was too similar to the Starbucks logo in the category of coffee to become a registered trademark. Regardless of the fact that we applied for our trademark well before Starbucks applied for the Siren’s Blend trademark and were denied due to similarity with our Siren’s Brew name. This was because the Board found that the consumers recognize the Starbucks’ logo as a siren by judging the Starbucks logo as if it said the word “siren” when it never has in any logo they have ever produced.
We are disappointed in this ruling even though we are pleased that no confusion was found regarding the SIREN’S BREW clothing brand. (Keep reading because they are now coming after our original Siren’s Brew saying- explanation to follow.) We spent several years and a lot of money to contest the opposition from Starbucks. But we continue to believe that there is zero confusion with our small business coffee brand and the global conglomerate from Seattle.
The legal process is long, complicated, and expensive – especially for small businesses. Rather than appeal this ruling, we have decided to focus our efforts on continuing to provide the best coffee and products that we can to our customers. We also plan to look for ways to improve the legal system to make it more accessible for small businesses like ours considering the USPTO just increased the price for businesses to file a trademark application which is a detriment to small businesses trying to protect their brand. When resolving a dispute before a court or agency costs many thousands of dollars and takes several years, big businesses have a built in advantage, and that is truly a shame.
As we have said before, Mountains & Mermaids® in no way intends or ever intended to interfere with Starbucks’ business, we will simply continue to provide our customers with a unique coffee brand that ties into our love of the ocean and our popularSiren’s Brew apparel. Starbucks on the other hand, has recently chosen to apply for an extension to give them time to opposed our trademark for our original saying “A siren needs her morning coffee before a day of wrecking ships and drowning men '' despite our saying being a part of our now officially trademarked Siren’s Brew design for apparel. Which we are severely disappointed about.
We are grateful for the support we have received from you for the last several years, and we plan to continue building our business with the same roots and values that built this amazing Mountains & Mermaids Community.
All the love,
Monica & Sarah
Mountains & Mermaids, The original creators of Siren’s Brew
Once again we cannot express how thankful our mermaid hearts are for each and every one of you! We hope to be celebrating with you over winning this battle soon 💙
As a massive mermaid thank you for your continued love and support, you can USE CODE: SIRENSBREW10 for 10% OFF any Siren's Brew / Siren's Brew Coffee Co Product!
Mountains & Mermaids®, a seller of ‘nautically inspired wearable art’ originally from Wasilla, Alaska finds itself entangled in a trademark dispute with Starbucks. A successful small business selling Alaska-inspired apparel, mugs, jewelry and other items in stores and at festivals and fairs across Alaska and online, Mountains & Mermaids has no intention of backing down.
Many of Mountains & Mermaids’ popular items pay homage to the sea and its mythology. Among the top sellers from Mountains & Mermaids is the ‘Siren’s Brew’ shirt and sweatshirts featuring the coined phrases “A siren needs her morning coffee before a day of wrecking ships & drowning men,” and
“A siren needs her evening wine before a night of wrecking ships & drowning men.” The brand recently sought to expand its offerings by applying with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to register the SIREN’S BREW TM name for both apparel and coffee. The Alaska business now finds itself embroiled in a dispute with Starbucks, who this month formally filed to block the trademark applications for SIREN’S BREWTM at the USPTO.
Although defending a trademark opposition dispute can take several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, Mountains & Mermaids indicates that it is prepared to fight, maintaining that SIREN’S BREWTM is in no way related to or confusing with Starbucks’ brand or its logo.
AFTER LEARNING OF THE SIREN’S BREW TMTRADEMARK APPICATIONS FROM MOUNTAINS AND MERMAIDS, STARBUCKS FILED ITS OWN APPLICATION TO REGISTER 'SIREN’S BLEND' WITH THE USPTO.
A mother and daughter run family business founded by Monica and Sarah Hamilton, Mountains & Mermaids values the significance of trademark protection from the USPTO, having previously registered both its MOUNTAINS & MERMAIDS® brand name and its M&M CO.TM logo (below).
In its opposition filings, Starbucks indicates that it was recently “ranked number twelve (12) in the top 100 most valuable brands in the United States, and number thirty-one (31) in the top 500 most valuable brands globally by Brand Finance, with an estimated brand value of $39 billion dollars.” Mountains & Mermaids remains unfazed and prepared to take on the giant brand to defend the SIREN’S BREW TM brand.
Mountains & Mermaids in no way intends to interfere with Starbucks’ business with its SIREN’S BLEND name, it is merely looking to provide its fans in Alaska and nationwide with a unique coffee blend that ties into its ocean themes and its popular Siren’s BrewTM apparel. In fact, Sarah Hamilton has used her experience working as a barista for several years to help select the Siren’s BrewTM roast, which she believes is perfect for starting any morning, especially one with a view of the sea.
The trademark cases are numbers 91250027 and 91250160 and the documents and full details can be found at http://ttabvue.uspto.gov.