- The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to grant Starbucks' request for an injunction against New Hampshire's Black Bear Micro Roastery to stop them from selling coffee called “Charbucks Blend” and “Mister Charbucks.”
- The three-judge panel backed U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain's December 2011 decision, disagreeing with Starbucks' claim that Charbucks coffee could confuse consumers and blur brand recognition.
- Starbucks had cited a 600-person phone survey that found "Starbucks" to be "the number one association" made with the name "Charbucks."
While we understand big-name brands wanting to make sure that nobody confuses their products with someone else's, Starbucks' complaint here did seem like a bit of a stretch. The company has agreed to respect the court's decision, effectively ending the ordeal, and Black Bear's owners at Wolfe's Borough Coffee Inc will undoubtedly be happy to put this all behind them. Perhaps they will even enjoy a higher profile as a result of the publicity.