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New York based coffee retailer ‘Death Wish Coffee Company’ has sued Australian based retailer ‘Death Before Decaf Coffee’ for alleged trade mark infringement.

Death Wish Coffee filed the claim at the end of August alleging trade mark infringement and unfair competition and accusing Death Before Decaf of “free-riding on Death Wish Coffee’s goodwill and reputation”.

The claim has been issued following Death Before Decaf’s recent trade mark application at the US Patent and Trade Mark Office to extend its based Australian trade mark protection to cover the USA, thereby indicating its intent to trade in the US.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the two brands share a similar aesthetic when it comes to branding with both logos featuring variations of classic skull-and-crossbones imagery. On that basis, Death Wish Coffee claim Death Before Decaf’s so called “edgy, rebellious” marketing, as well as its use of the word “Death”, infringes on its own existing goodwill and brand identity.

Death Before Decaf responded to the filing, stating that “the lawsuit by Death Wish Coffee is entirely baseless” and that it is “prepared to fight for a just outcome”. Death Wish Coffee is seeking damages along with the denial of the extension of the Australian trade mark in the US.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

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