In its three years of operation, Blueprint Coffee has become one of St. Louis' most respected coffee shops — and the headquarters for a brand selling coffee across the nation.
But Hain BluePrint
, the New York-based company that markets BluePrint organic juices along with a host of other "natural" products, wants to halt that expansion. The company has filed suit in federal court against Blueprint Coffee, alleging that there is "a likelihood of confusion" between the two brands. The suit alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition.
Mike Marquard, a partner in Blueprint Coffee, declined comment on the specifics of the litigation, saying the company had not yet been served.
However, he noted that Blueprint Coffee had "long ago" filed for a trademark with the U.S. government, and that Patent Trademark Office had determined there was no conflict. The next step, before the trademark is final, is the one they're in now — a period that allows for objection by potential rivals.
"This hasn't caught us off guard," he says. "We've been negotiating with Hain Blueprint, trying to come to peaceful resolution of this process."
Hain Celestial, the parent company for Hain BluePrint, has been marketing organic juices since 2006, and owns the trademark for juice beverages marketed as BluePrint. Its interest in coffee, however, appears to be more recent.
"As far as we'r concerned, we've been open and operating since 2013 as the one and only Blueprint coffee," Marquard says. "We've very involved with community locally and nationally as the only Blueprint Coffee."
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