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Sunday, 14 January 2007


The IPKat learns from the Korean Times that Starbucks has lost a trade mark infringement suit in South Korea. On Friday, the South Korean Supreme court upheld a lower decision (noted by the IPKat here) that Elpreya’s round trade mark, consisting of the head of a classical lady, bounded by a green rim and the words ‘Starpreya Coffee’, would not cause confusion with the Starbucks trade mark because the trade marks are not considered similar. Moreover, Starbucks' trade mark was found not to be a famous mark. Both companies have been trading in South Korea since 1999.

As the IPKat said at the time of the earlier decision, he finds it hard to see how the two marks can be considered dissimilar.


Craig said...

Perhaps a case of parochialism winning out?

I, for one, had to do a double take to work out which was which.

Anonymous said...

Craig: perhaps you're just a moron in a hurry? :o)

Though much the same thought did cross my mind. In football terms, the phrase "the referee's a homer" sprang to mind.

The IP Dog said...

Praise be to even the tiniest dent in the armour of global domination!!

Three cheers for the S. Koreans.

Coffee drinkrs know what's what. It would be impossible to go into another shop and confuse it for a Starbucks. Anymore that it would be to go into BurgerKing (even if it was renamed McBurger or whatever - with yellow arcs - see the film Coming To America) and confuse it for McDonalds.

Consumers today are more sophisticated than people give them credit for. The bigger the brand, the less likely there is to be confusion.

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