A patent court ruled against Starbucks on Monday, dismissing its claim that the Japanese-based dairy company Morinaga copied its iconic trademark logo.
The Patent Court of Korea ruled against the plaintiff, the world’s largest coffee franchise, dismissing its argument that Morinaga, widely known for its brand of Mt Rainier milk coffees, copied the Starbucks logo.
Starbucks opposed the registration, claiming that Mt Rainier’s logo looked similar to Starbucks’ famous circular, green and white mermaid logo.
Mt Rainier’s black and white circular logo with a mountain bearing the name Seattle, a U.S. city, came under contention.
Starbucks pointed out that Morinaga’s logo made a direct reference to Seattle, the “Birthplace of Starbucks” and famous for coffee and the cafe culture.
The Seattle-based company said the Japanese brand benefited from the Starbuck’s trademark logo known around the world.
However, the patent court rejected Starbucks’ claim, stating that in 2005 the Morinaga brand beverage made more than 258 billion won ( $241 million). Since then through 2014, the Japanese company has recorded 438 billion won in sales each year.
“The two logos’ exteriors and designs are considered different, one highlighting the word Mt Rainier, the other Starbucks,” the patent court said. “Consumers have different images when looking at the two logos.”
Mt Rainier coffee was registered for sale in Korea starting February 2015.
In December 2015, the Intellectual Property Tribunal rejected Starbucks’ request to invalidate Mt Rainier’s logo. Starbucks claimed the Japanese company could confuse consumers.
The country’s tribunal decided that the two trademarks are not similar, which led to Starbucks’ lawsuit against Morinaga.
Last November, the American coffee giant lost a similar lawsuit against Morinaga in Singapore.
Source (c) 2018 Korea Times Co. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).