Merry Christmas, Starbucks Style

Well, we see from the business section of our local newspaper that Starbucks has trademarked "christmas blend" and has set their lawyers upon two East Coast coffee shop owners who were very innocently using the phrase in their shops. Unfortunately the owners caved in and renamed their blends. We had hoped they would thumb their noses at the coffee behemoth and simply use a small "b" for the word "blend" and a capital "C" for "Christmas". After all, Starbucks can trademark "christmas blend" as a name for a product, but they can't stop us all from using the generic phrase "Christmas blend":
Customer: I say, old man. Which blend is that?
Proprietor: Why sir, that's a special blend we make just for Christmas.
Customer: Well, I think I'll try some of your Christmas blend.
Loud sounds of door being broken down.
Starbucks Christmas Blend Police: Up against the wall! You're all under arrest!

But what's the point of all this? We have to applaud Starbucks for being clever and greedy enough to trademark a generic phrase, and we can't dispute their claim that they have to keep after people misusing their trademark or they will lose it. However, Alan Gulick, spokesman for Starbucks said, "When customers order Christmas Blend, they expect high quality." If this is true and Starbucks truly seeks to offer their customers quality, why do they burn the crap out of their coffees? And if they are truly concerned about quality, why in the world would they be sending out these postcards for a free "Eggnog Latte" for the love of God? Eggnog Latte? What could these people have been thinking? Two of the worst things in the world, Starbucks coffee and eggnog, all in one cup? We have to think that they were more interested in trademarking Christmas than in ensuring their customers can identify quality coffee (which they obviously can't, or they wouldn't be there in the first place).

Hey Starbucks! We hope you have a "quality" and "trademarked" Christmas.

Warning: "Eggnog Latte" may or may not be a trademark of Starbucks. It probably depends on whether they think it is profitable to trademark eggnog. It sure ain't a quality issue!


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