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Starbucks Wins Green-Dot Trademark for Lidded Cup Illustrations

Jan. 22, 2019, 5:36 PM

Starbucks Corp. won its years-long battle with the Patent and Trademark Office to trademark a green dot on depictions of coffee cups with lids, though a green circle on an illustration of undefined cup won’t get the same protection.

The split decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board Jan. 17 highlights the fine lines used in evaluating similar potential marks, supporting examples of their use and what exactly they demonstrate.

The board granted a trademark to a defined cup shape with a central green dot and lid. Trademark examiners had rejected it, saying the examples Starbucks gave of how...

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