Mountains & Mermaids®, a seller of ‘nautically inspired wearable art’ 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.