Dunkin' Donuts Not a Fan of Independent Coffee Shop Slogan

Sends cease-and-desist letter to local joint
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 31, 2017 3:03 PM CDT
This Oct. 31, 2011 photo, shows a display of Dunkin Donuts, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Newser) – A Massachusetts coffee shop owner says he received a cease-and-desist letter from Dunkin' Donuts claiming trademark infringement for riffing on the chain's catchphrase, the AP reports. Steve Copoulos tells the Sun Chronicle he added window art reading "North now runs on Mike's" on his Mike's Coffee shop in North Attleborough. While he expected a few laughs from customers, Copoulos says he was surprised to find the letter from the Canton, Massachusetts-based coffee shop chain claiming he was infringing on their "America Runs on Dunkin'" slogan and Copoulos' variation implied an affiliation.

Copoulos says he wants to be the "exact opposite" of a corporate coffee chain and has since erased the sign. Dunkin' Donuts, in a statement, said it wrote the letter "in support of our legal rights under trademark law and in support of our franchisees." (Read more Dunkin' Donuts stories.)

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