Brewer Replies to Starbucks Letter With Snarky Note, $6

Promises to stop calling one of its beers 'Frappicino'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2013 5:18 PM CST
Updated Jan 4, 2014 7:00 PM CST
Brewer Replies to Starbucks Letter With Snarky Note, $6
This Jan. 3, 2012 file photo shows the Starbucks Coffee logo in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

A small Missouri brewery has responded to a cease and desist letter from Starbucks by sending the coffee chain a check to cover what it calls the profit from use of the word "Frappicino"—a check for $6. Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in the St. Louis suburb of Cottleville named one of its brews the Frappicino, spelled slightly differently than the word Starbucks uses for its blended beverages. That prompted an attorney for Starbucks to send Exit 6 a letter on Dec. 9, which noted that the Seattle-based company "is the owner of a number of world-famous trademarks, including the well-known FRAPPUCCINO trademark."

The letter also said that the words are "phonetically identical" and that Exit 6's use of Frappicino "is likely to cause confusion, mistake." In his sarcastic response letter, Exit 6 owner Jeff Britton also wrote that the brewery "never thought that our beer drinking customers would have thought that the alcoholic beverage coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee from one of the many, many, many stores located a few blocks away." The letter said Exit 6 would no longer use the term "Frappicino" and would instead refer to its beer as "The F Word." Britton said in a telephone interview that the new batch of "The F Word" sold out in three hours. He's contemplating making more, based on the calls, emails, and Facebook messages of support he said he's received from around the world. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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