Dunkin Donuts Coffee Claim Rejected: 'Best Coffee in America' Trademark Denied

Expand | Collapse
White House photo by Kimberlee HewittPresident George W. Bush offers to buy a cup of coffee for a member of the media during a stop at Dunkin' Donuts in Alexandria, Va., July 5, 2006.

Dunkin Donuts' coffee claim for the trademark "Best Coffee in America" has failed after the company applied for the prestigious label recently.

The coffee chain had applied for the trademark statement last week and was hoping to officially boast the title of "Best Coffee in America," but it now appears as though its efforts have been debunked.

The application was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office earlier this month. Dunkin' Donuts has been named "Best Coffee in America" by Phil Lempert, the foods trend editor for NBC's "Today" show back in 2004. However, its bid to claim to the trademark of the title to stop others infringing on its "recognized" label has been rejected.

It is reported that Dunkin' Donuts, founded in 1950, has more than 32,000 stores in countries across the globe, and is reported as selling more than 1.5 billion cups of coffee a year.

The trademarks office said that the trademark was "merely laudatory and descriptive," adding that the "informational slogan is nothing more than a claim of superiority."

In its rejection, the office said: "It is well established that a mark that consists of the generic name of a food that is the specialty of the house or a principal attraction of the restaurant has been held merely descriptive of restaurant services," according to The Telegraph.

The claim of serving the "Best Coffee in America" can of course be made by a whole host of competitors, who each can stake a similar claim according to who has labeled them the best via their own taste buds.

Starbucks for example has for the last three years been named number 1 coffee provider by Zagat's annual survey of 8,000 coffee drinkers. Dunkin' Donuts has come in at number 2 each year over that same period. However, "Second Best Coffee in America" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

It has been reported by some that in its application Dunkin' Donuts cited a 2007 AOL.com poll as its research in the request for the trademark, among other evidence.

However, such applications for "The Best" titles have a precedence of failure. The Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams beer, had an application to trademark a similar slogan, "The Best Beer in America," turned down in the past.