Go Ahead, Order an Ice-Blended

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Trademark sanity watch: A judge throws out a suit from the Coffee Bean chain against Starbucks. The suit tried to make the claim that the java giant infringed Coffee Bean's trademark on the phrase "ice-blended" in marketing coffee drinks.

NEXT: Sunni Side Down

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  1. I’m a bit surprised by this, given that trademark interpretation has been pretty liberal in some past cases. An example: no other rental car company can advertise that they offer pick up service (even though most do) simply because Enterprise has trademarked the phrase “We’ll Pick You Up!”

  2. Brad S,
    You missed the point. A small company was suing a mega company. Intellectual property always belongs to the highest priced lawyers. If Enterprise owns the rights to “we’ll pick you up” they can defend those rights, if someone else owns “ice blended” coffee and Starbucks wants it, they can take it and can defend the taking. This is because in court high priced lawyers in robes are persuaded more by legal sophistry than rational argument (and are completely incompetent to comprehend technical merit in the case of patent law).

    The need to overhaul intellectual property law, and in the case of copyright, toss it out altogether, is one of the most neglected issues of our time.

  3. Brad S,
    You missed the point. A small company was suing a mega company. Intellectual property always belongs to the highest priced lawyers. If Enterprise owns the rights to “we’ll pick you up” they can defend those rights, if someone else owns “ice blended” coffee and Starbucks wants it, they can take it and can defend the taking. This is because in court high priced lawyers in robes are persuaded more by legal sophistry than rational argument (and are completely incompetent to comprehend technical merit in the case of patent law).

    The need to overhaul intellectual property law, and in the case of copyright, toss it out altogether, is one of the most neglected issues of our time.

  4. noisy mouse buttons may be another

  5. Wasn’t there some flap sort of like this, when the whole “e-commerce” thing was supposed to change the world… people were attempting to trademark/patent things like “online shopping carts” and the like.

  6. It doesn’t really matter what they call it. You’re still paying $3.00 for an overdesigned consumer “experience,” a trendy logo and a $.50 cup of coffee.

  7. So don’t go there. You’re also paying for the caffiene, which for some reason seems stronger at Starbucks than any other place I get coffee. And how.

  8. Tim Horton’s kicks those pussies at Starbucks’ ass!

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