The Other ‘F Word’: Brewer Responds To Starbucks Over Beer Name

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In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn’t the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses — and to be funny.

The coffee company’s bone of contention, Missouri brewer Jeff Britton was told in a Dec. 9 letter, was the use of the name “Frappicino” to describe a stout served at Exit 6 Brewery, a brewpub in a tidy strip mall in Cottleville, northwest of St. Louis.

The name too closely resembled Starbucks’ Frappuccino, Anessa Owen Kramer, an attorney at a law firm that protects Starbucks’ trademarks, wrote. The similar names might cause customers to “mistakenly believe that Exit 6 or this beer product is affiliated with or licensed by Starbucks Coffee Co., when they are not,” the letter said.

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