A family-owned vegan café in Brixton has announced that they are taking a legal action against a US coffee chain.

The family-owned vegan café, Blank Coffee, in Brixton have announced that they are taking legal action against a US coffee chain, US Blank Street Coffee. They have demonstrated their intention of preventing the US Blank Street Coffee chain’s decision to expand their stores to London. It has been argued that US chain’s brand is “highly similar” and that it was producing a reputational damage to the family-owned vegan café’s “indie vibe”.

The US chain, Blank Street Coffee, initially announced their intention of bringing a legal action against Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, nevertheless found themselves in a legal battle with the family-owned vegan café. The owners of Blank Coffee, Warner Newman and Samantha McKinson, have resisted the US coffee chain’s registration of Blank Street Coffee as a trademark in the UK, as they asserted that this would lead to a misrepresentation in which causing the public to be confused about the source of their goods and services.

The couple went further and stated that the eleven Blank Street cafes that are currently in London are so far causing real public confusion and has shown to have a detrimental impact on the opponent, as consumers are questioning Blank Streets lower quality products and supposing the opponent has sold out, consumers are complaining. Furthermore, Samantha Mckinson stated that the US chain’s impact become apparent when a loyal customer praised them on their expansion of business.

The couple also stated in a further legal letter that they believe Blank Street Coffee chain have created and copied their brand name and their “distinctive mint green/white/black livery, simple lettering … and were endeavouring to copy the indie vibe”.

Moreover, it was also alleged that a founder of the US coffee chain has connected with the family-owned vegan café’s social media page. However, these claims was repudiated by the US firm and further stated that the couple’s legal representative possessed “huge inaccuracies” in their communications, as they argued that Blank Street Coffee was founded in 2020 in the US and that they have developed their brand while being glad for the services that they have been able to provide their consumers with.

The US chain now has until 19 April to reply to the coupled filed opposition against the registration of the US chain’s trademark.

If you would like to discuss protection of your brand, please get in touch with the Trademarkroom team today.

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