The US Patent and Trademark Office rejected the claim
Dunkin’ Donuts aims to be the only company to be allowed to use the slogan “best coffee in America.” However, the US Patent and Trademark Office disagree with their request.The institution rejected the claim, on account of the fact that it is unfounded. The actual statement from the Trademark office, relayed by the Telegraph, dubs it “merely laudatory and descriptive.” The “informational slogan is nothing more than a claim of superiority,” they add.
Dunkin' Donuts are planning to argue that they do, in fact, produce the best coffee.
“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,” Jessica E. Gioglio, a Dunkin’ spokeswoman, is quoted by the Boston Globe as stating.
A January 2007 AOL.com online poll supports the claim; yet, Zagat’s annual survey doesn't. For the last three years, Dunkin' have placed second in customer appreciation polls, after Starbucks, and followed by McDonald’s.
There is ample discussion over whether or not securing the rights to the slogan will guarantee that other companies will refrain from using it.
“They would have a hard time protecting that,” an intellectual property lawyer with Holland & Knight LLP argues.
Marketing strategists suggest it might turn away costumers. Dennis Lombardi at consultancy WD Partners explains the slogan might sound far-fetched.
“In a time when transparency and authenticity are increasingly important to consumers, I’m not sure any kind of hyperbolic claim of being the best or the ultimate is the right way to go,” he says.
Nonetheless, following their campaign to hold the supreme coffee maker title, googling “best coffee in America” will now return Dunkin' Donuts among the first results, even with an image search.
The company is currently planning to expand on the European market, where there are currently 91 Dunkin’ Donuts and 356 Baskin Robbins outlets.