Real-Life Copycat Lesson #9: Coffee Brand Confusion
25 June, 2019
Biggby Coffee, a Michigan-based brand, owns and operates 235 locations across 8 states, and has been using an orange and black color scheme and logo since 2008, the same year they received federal registration for the mark(s). In March, Biggby filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Texas-based coffee company of a similar name, Bixby. The lawsuit alleges that Bixby is using a name, color scheme, and product design that is similar to Biggby’s. Biggby believes that the similarities of Bixby’s mark in sound, appearance, meaning and commercial impression is a conscious effort to lead consumers to believe that Bixby’s products were in fact produced by Biggby. Biggby noted that their customers have seen Bixby advertisements and mistaken it for one produced by Bibbgy. They even had a customer question the price difference between their in-store and online offerings – which turned out to be the Bixby website.
The suit requests that Bixby stop using all marketing and products that use the “infringing marks.” The suit also seeks damages equal to three times Bixby’s earnings and revenue during the time period in which Bixby engaged in the unlawful infringement.