Hey, You Trademarked My Coffee!

So, your team of internationally renowned Swiss scientists cross-bred seven different strains of coffee and now you want to market it to the world. First, you need to give it a name. Sit down and write out ten great names on a piece of paper and then tell your lawyers to go search the trademark database to see if any of them are available.

Guess what? They’ve all been taken.

These days, if you can think of a name, then odds are it’s been trademarked by one of the other billion-plus people in commerce. If you have a name in mind that is in the dictionary and is a single syllable, then it has almost certainly been snapped up by someone looking for something catchy. But don’t fret. There’s no need to go all Häagen Dazs and inflict another umlaut-infected trademark on the world just yet.  A two word mark buys you more chances of success, and a three word mark gives you even more room to shuck and jive. While you might not be able to get the PTO to grant you rights to The World’s Best Coffee (that’s been done, sorry), if your proposed trademark is in the form of snazzy descriptive term + coffee you should be in business.

Here’s a short list of exemplars of coffee marks that are out there, filling the shelves of Whole Foods and your local gourmet specialty market as we speak:

  • Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
  • 140.6 Kona Coffee
  • Farmers Market French Roast
  • Jah Coffee
  • Starbucks Coffee
  • Amazing Coffee
  • Raus Coffee
  • Argo Coffee
  • Café Luna
  • Cafe Dulcinea
  • Café Hope
  • La Selva Café
  • Pure Café
  • Kicking Horse Coffee
  • Biff’s Coffee
  • Simply Coffee
  • Full Circle Coffee
  • Coronado Coffee
  • Barbershop Coffee
  • Rusty’s Hawaiian 100% Ka’u Coffee
  • New Orleans Famous French Market Premium French Roast Coffee

My personal favorite isn’t on the list, and it’s hard to find, but if you come across Uncle Bucky’s Supercalifragilistic Extra Strength Jalapeño Café, give it a try. If that doesn’t wake you up, nothing will.

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