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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Consumer Confusion Over Three Beers Sold?

So I pull up my morning Facebook feed, and I stumble across an NPR story regarding a small pub's response to Starbucks over the use of the word Frappicino (as compared to Frappucino). The response is great, and is actually a highly nuanced analysis of Trademark law done by a lay person without any experience in the subject. 

Under the law, simply using a similar mark isn't enough. There has to be the possibility of consumer confusion. Here, we're dealing with a pub that has one beer that represented a total profit of three dollars versus, inside of a pub that obviously has no affiliation with the coffee giant. On the other side we have the delicious and fatty iced beverage sold worldwide. Now, that said, Starbucks is branching out into the world of spirits, and it is conceivable they would have a Frappucino beer at some point. But the letter by the owner is great:

"We never thought that our beer drinking customers would have thought that the alcoholic beverage coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee from one of the many, many, many stores located a few blocks away. I guess that with there being a Starbucks on every corner of every block in every city that some people may think they could get a Starbucks at a local bar. So that was our mistake."

 

The owner continues to note they will discontinue production of their McDonald's-Coca Cola-Marlboro Honey Lager. They enclosed a check for $6.00 (the profits from the beer), and end it on a high(ly sarcastic) note:

"Furthermore, in an effort to remain in good standing with Starbucks and Mr Bucks in general, please find enclosed a check for the full amount of profit gained from the sale of those 3 beers. Please apply the enclosed $6.00 towards the legal fees Ms. Owen Kramer received for her efforts in nabbing Exit 6 in our dastardly F Word naming practices. We realize Mr Bucks probably paid her more than Exit 6 made last year. We just want to help a business like Starbucks. Us small business owners need to stick together.

A link to the full NPR story is here.

Sometimes the law does hit on sense so common a lay person can come to it of his own accord. Great response, Exit 6, and I look forward to not trying the McDonald's-Coca Cola-Marlboro Honey Lager. However, I will try a bit of that Imperial Pumpkin Porter.

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