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Small Business Owner Fights Back Against Starbuck’s ‘F Word’ Threat

A small business owner replied to Starbuck’s recent cease and desist letter with a hilarious note that apologizes profusely to the mega-coffee retailer for its use of the ‘F Word.’ Jeff Britton, owner of a small Missouri pub penned the note after Starbucks threatened suit for use of its patented phrase ‘frappuccino.’

The legalese-rich threat mailed to the pub in early December ordered Britton’s Exit 6 Pub and Brewery to “cease and desist all use (or agree from re-commencing use) of the term ‘frappicino’ or any other mark that is likely to cause confusion with Starbucks Coffee Co.’s ‘frappuccino.’”

In reply, Britton wrote back to the lawyers representing Starbucks admitted that, indeed, he had sold product under the name. “It has recently come to Exit 6 Pub and Brewerys attention that there were three check-ins for the beer with a similar name to the F Word,” Britton explained.

He further insisted that the fact the spelling was different from Starbuck’s patented trademark was also his fault. “Unfortunately, it was only similar to the F Word because we meant to call it the same thing. Lucky for us, we are poor spelers.”

He went on to assure the lawyers that he was properly ashamed of his ‘crime.’ “We are bad people.  We feel shame,” he wrote adding that he had seen the error of his ways. “Know this, Exit 6 has ceased and desisted in the use of the F Word and no further use of the F Word in the naming of the beers.”

To reimburse Starbucks for the cost of any product that he claimed may have confused Starbucks customers who believed “they could get Starbucks at a local bar,” he offered them a check for the sum total of his profits on the ‘F Word beer’-$6.00.

He concluded that “We just want to help a business like Starbucks. Us small business owners need to stick together.”

Photo Credit: Postdlf via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.