In a ruling that should really be no big surprise, Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) has lost its bid with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrase "Best Coffee in America." In its denial, the PTO said that the phrase is "merely laudatory and descriptive" and that Dunkin' did not provide any proof that it is the best coffee in the nation.

McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) and Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) must be breathing a bit easier following last week's ruling, even though a claim as subjective as which coffee is best was never really a threat to be awarded. The Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM) once tried to get a trademark for "Best Beer in America" and the PTO didn't buy that claim either.

A Dunkin' spokesperson said:

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.

That sounds like the company will keep trying to trademark its claim.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Food, Law, Retail Tagged: DNKN, MCD, SAM, SBUX

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