Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Claim: Patent Office Says NoBy: Amanda Crum - November 27, 2012
In a society filled with choices, it can be hard to narrow down where to find the “best” of something. When it comes to coffee, we’re inundated with everything from local, intimate coffee shops to a Starbucks on nearly every corner. One has to take into consideration what specific kind of product they’re looking for–iced, latte, flavors–when handing out superlatives.
One business wants to make the “best” choice for us, however; Dunkin’ Donuts says they simply make the best coffee, and they want to patent the title to make it official. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that just saying something is the best doesn’t make it so.
They say they can’t issue a patent because the company’s claim is “merely laudatory and descriptive” and that the “informational slogan is nothing more than a claim of superiority.” And while they have a point–it’s nearly impossible to make a statement like that on something which is so subjective–Dunkin’ Donuts says they’ve been in business long enough to have proven there’s weight behind their claim.
“As a company with a more than 60-year heritage that is proud to be an American icon, Dunkin’ Donuts sells more than 1.5 billion cups of hot and iced coffee globally every year. We are simply going through the trademark process,” Jessica E. Gioglio, a Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman, said.
It seems the company isn’t giving up anytime soon, but they will more than likely have a difficult time moving forward without proof that they are, indeed, the best.