Biggby suing Texas coffee company for trademark infringement

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Biggby Coffee, a Michigan-based brand, is suing a company out of Texas for what it says is trademark infringement.

The lawsuit, filed last Friday in United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, alleges that Bixby uses branding and imaging that is purposefully similar to that of Biggby’s.

An affidavit filed alongside the lawsuit describes a situation in which a Biggby owner/operator in Wisconsin encountered a customer that had seen a Bixby advertisement and mistaken it for one produced by Biggby.

The lawsuit outlines how the Biggby name, logo and color scheme has been in use since at least 2008.  Biggby feels that Bixby is using a name, color scheme and product design that is similar to theirs in “sound appearance, meaning and commercial impression.”

Biggby alleges Bixby chose the specific color of orange for their branding knowing “that the infringing use would mislead and deceive consumers” into believing Bixby’s products were in fact produced by Biggby.

In the lawsuit, Biggby is asking the court for “damages equal to three times Bixby’s earning and revenue during the time period in which Bixby has engaged in the unlawful conduct described.”

Bixby is requested to stop using all marketing and products that use, what Biggby calls “infringing marks”.  The lawsuit also asks Bixby be required to “deliver up for destruction all infringing goods, stationary, signs, advertisements, brochures, promotional materials and other written materials” that contain the alleged infringing marks.

FOX 17 has reached out to Bixby and has yet to receive a response.

A representative for Biggby provided the following statement in regards to the lawsuit:

“Recently, we had a customer come into one of our franchise stores asking about the difference in pricing between our online offering and our in-store offering. The customer showed us the Bixby website pricing, demonstrating that the customer had confused the Bixby online offering with our products. We have federally registered trademarks for our products and services and trademark law is intended to prohibit others from using trademarks that cause this type of customer confusion. That is why we filed the lawsuit.”

 

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2 comments

  • Matt McCartney

    Well “Biggby” you shouldn’t have caved to political pressure to change your name. Just think, if you were still known as “Beaners” you wouldn’t have this issue. Too bad. I still have a “big” Beaners cup. Haven’t been there since it was still “Beaners”. Fond memories.

  • Andrei Mincov

    I talk about this in this video: https://youtu.be/jwbvD8h-3DQ

    But here’s a summary:
    In a trademark infringement lawsuit, it’s always good to have a few stories that demonstrate how real people were actually confused into thinking that the defendant’s products and services come from the same source as the plaintiff’s. These stories need to be properly documented and treasured as your most powerful evidence. Without it, you need to prove likelihood of confusion, which is essentially fiction. When you can demonstrate actual confusion, your lawyers’ job becomes so much easier!

    Andrei Mincov

    Founder of Trademark Factory® / https://trademarkfactory.com
    The easiest way to trademark your brand.
    Risk-Free. Guaranteed.

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