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Dunkin' Donuts coffee claim: Best in U.S.? Forget it, agency says

November 27, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Dunkin' Donuts claims to have the "best" coffee in America. But that's not enough for a trademark.
Dunkin' Donuts claims to have the "best" coffee in America.… (EPA )

Dunkin' Donuts claims to have the "best coffee in America," but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office disagrees.

Dunkin' Donuts' petition to trademark the phrase "best coffee in America" has been rejected by the agency. 

The Massachusetts-based coffee chain's slogan was not "distinctive enough to qualify for protection" and is "merely laudatory and descriptive," the agency ruled recently, according to the Boston Globe.

Translation: Everyone claims to have the best coffee in America, Dunkin' Donuts, so get in line. 

A Dunkin' Donuts spokeswoman told the Globe that the company is mulling its next steps, including whether to appeal the trademark ruling.

Now, some in Southern California might be wondering: "Dunkin' Donuts? What? Who?" 

But the chain is an international phenomenon, with 2,600 stores around the globe selling 1.5 billion cups of coffee a year. Dunkin' Donuts stores are a common sight in the Northeast, and the chain boasts a rabid fan following.

Fans will testify that Dunkin' Donuts' coffee is always hot and fresh, just like the doughnuts. And although Dunkin' Donuts offers a variety of coffee drinks and freezers, insiders know that the coffee can be served with flavor shots -- not sugary flavor shots mind you, just flavor shots, such as vanilla or almond.

That alone would likely keep the Intelligentsia or Handsome Coffee fans away in droves.

Which might explain why California fans have long lobbied in vain for a local Dunkin' Donuts.

Technically, there is a Dunkin' Donuts in Southern California, but it is located on Camp Pendleton and not open to the public, according to Fast Food Maven

The closest that Dunkin' Donuts fans in SoCal can get is trips to the chain's outlets in Las Vegas.

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