At this point, we’re used to breweries suing each other over the use of names, numbers, pictures, sounds, and thoughts, so it probably comes as no surprise that Starbucks has decided to get in on the litigation name game and sue a small Missouri brewery for using the name “Frappicino” to describe one of its stouts. According to NPR, Exit 6 Brewery in Cottleville, Missouri received a cease and desist letter from the coffee (and now tea!) giant on Dec. 9 because Exit 6’s use of the word “Frappicino” might cause customers to “mistakenly believe that Exit 6 or this beer product is affiliated with or licensed by Starbucks Coffee Co.”
Sadly, this sort of legal chest thumping is par for the course in the dog-eat-dog world of drinks and drink containers, but what’s interesting is Exit 6’s response letter, which essentially makes Starbucks look like a bunch of “a-holes” while turning the entire legal action into a joke.
Exit 6 owner Jeff Britton addresses his response to “Mr. Bucks” and drops the use of the term “Frappuccino” altogether to avoid risk of further lawsuits. Instead, he refers to it as the “F Word.”
Not only does Britton promise to stop calling his stout the “F Word,” he also promises to stop production of his “Starbucks-McDonalds-Coca Cola-Marlboro Honey Lager.” He even writes Starbucks a check for $6, the full amount of profit gained from the sale of Frappicino Stout, which he instructs Mr. Bucks to put toward any legal fees incurred.
Personally, I’d like to have tasted that coffee/Big Mac/Coke/cigarette lager.