Boycott Bustelo Coffee – You Stole 3:05 Cafecito
F U Bustelo (#FUbustelo), you are out of line! I for one am boycotting you for life (#BoycottBustelo) and I hope my fellow readers will join me! How does a company that made $2.84 billion dollars in profit this year feel that it is alright to steal the idea of a small business owner and local activist?
JennyLee Molina of Miami based JLPR started the idea of 3:05 Cafecito back in April 2012. The Miami area code is 305 and this was a cute idea that made 3:05 the official time for a cafecito (coffee) break in Miami.
“In April of 2013, City of Miami Mayor, Tomas Regalado, proclaimed 3:05 p.m. the city’s official coffee break, making it the only city in the US with an official coffee time. Cafecito lovers in Miami and beyond (as far as Brazil, Italy and Cambodia) partake in the virtual coffee break by sharing their “cafecito-moments” using #305cafecito. The window, “ventanita”, of a Cuban restaurant is the original social network. It is where, on any hot afternoon, you might find a relative, an old friend, the Mayor of Miami or Dwyane Wade sharing a colada as an act of friendship and solidarity.”
JennyLee first discovered the unauthorized use of the 3:05 Cafecito trademark in the summer when Bustelo threw a series of pop-up parties in New York, Chicago & LA where they shared free coffee at 3:05 p.m., with signs portraying “305” and “cafecito time” littered the venue. This clearly was them stealing her idea and brand! According to JennyLee, Bustelo stole her brand, is diluting it and making it unprofitable for her.
In response to this unauthorized use, on October 25, Molina asked the J.M. Smucker Company who owns Bustelo to simply recognize that JLPR created 3:05 Cafecito. She did not ask for money, just credit. The company responded that coffee in the afternoon is not her idea and she cannot be credited.
Here is the insulting letter the big Goliath Corporation’s lawyer sent to Jenny Lee:
I was asked to respond to your email of November 7, specifically to your concerns that Café Bustelo’s use of “3:05” and “Cafecito Time” is creating confusion with respect to “3:05 Cafecito.”
Initially, please note that our uses of “3:05” and “Cafecito Time” at our events are not trademark uses—these terms are being used merely descriptively to communicate information to consumers about the time of day that free cafecito will be offered.
Our research shows that 3:05 p.m. has been recognized as “Miami’s official cafecito time” following the mayor’s proclamation in 2013. We do not believe that anyone has exclusive rights in celebrating a coffee moment at 3:05 p.m. To claim otherwise seems contrary to the idea of sharing pride in the afternoon cafecito ritual as a way to honor the Latin culture in Miami.
Additionally, many third parties are also using “3:05” or “305” either descriptively or as part of other trademarks. This means there is already a crowded field of 305 marks coexisting with each other in the marketplace and on the federal register, and consumers are able to distinguish between them without confusion. Thus, our non-trademark use of “3:05” is not likely to cause confusion among consumers.
Finally, “cafecito” and “cafecito time” are generic terms that are not subject to trademark protection, and 305 is geographically descriptive as a reference to the telephone area code of Miami, Florida, and also not protectable. In fact, the USPTO has required a disclaimer of exclusive rights to the terms “cafecito” and “305” in numerous third party registrations.
In conclusion, we are unaware of any instances of confusion resulting from our use of “3:05” or “Cafecito Time,” nor do we believe that any confusion is likely to occur. If you have additional information that you would like to provide, please let me know.
Courtni Moorman | Senior Corporate Counsel, Trademarks
One Strawberry Lane, Orrville, OH 44667
Direct: 330.684.8446 | Fax: 330.684.3026 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Such bastards! Since they are such assholes, JennyLee, I and Miami are asking the people to boycott Bustelo. Let corporations know they are not above the law and should give credit where credit is due. 3:05 Cafecito is a beautiful notion and its creator deserves to be treated with respect.