We have often discussed the issue of trademarks and copyrights on this blog, and how violating a trademark or copyright can cause a company or individual many legal headaches. Even on a smaller scale, these violations can have a detrimental impact on either the violating party or the victimized party.
For example, take a story out of Montana. A coffee company called Morning Glory Coffee & Tea is suing another coffee company called Yellowstone Coffee Roasters for trademark infringement. Yellowstone Coffee Roasters had a type of coffee they dubbed "Morning Glory Blend," which understandably caught the eye of Morning Glory Coffee & Tea.
The lawsuit Morning Glory filed against Yellowstone Roasters alleges one count of common law trademark infringement and one count of federal trademark infringement. They also allege that Yellowstone's use of "Morning Glory Blend" deceives customers and confuses the Morning Glory brand. They want Yellowstone to compensate them for any profits garnered from the "Morning Glory Blend," as well as for any costs necessary to "dispel, cure or counteract any public confusion."
A jury trial has been requested, and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
But the point here is that even in this situation between two smaller coffee companies, the trademark in question is still just as important if it were between two larger companies. A trademark is vital to any company. It protects the company and its products from unfair use by other companies.
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, "West Yellowstone coffee company files trademark lawsuit," Lewis Kendall, April 6, 2016
The author's opinions expressed in this article are strictly his/her own and should not be attributed to any others, including other attorneys at Klein DeNatale Goldner or the law firm as a whole.