Starbucks vs. Charbucks – An Example of How Difficult It Can Be to Prevail in Court on Trademark Dilution Claims

Black Bear Micro Roastery has coffee flavors named “Mr. Charbucks” and “Charbucks Blend”.  Starbucks Corporation was not amused and sued the micro-roaster for trademark dilution and blurring.  Although Starbucks did meet the standard for a famous mark, the court found that it was not diluted by the competitor, nor was the competitor found to be acting in bad faith.  This case is an example of how difficult it can be to prevail on trademark dilution claims – something to keep in mind when you receive a cease and desist letter from “BIG” Company in the future.