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Coffee By Design says coffee shops advertising CBD are violating their trademark.

Coffee By Design has been around in Portland, Maine, so long that everyone calls it CBD. So now that other coffee shops have begun selling CBD in their coffee, what do people really mean when they say "CBD coffee"?

Alan Spear and Mary Allen Lindemann, the owners of Coffee By Design, have owned the trademark for CBD in two categories, coffee and coffee shops, since May 4, 2010. They've even unveiled a new logo using the three-letter abbreviation CBD in 2017, and their Twitter handle used to be @CBDportland, they are also found at coffeebydesign. CBD also happens to be the term people use for cannabidiol, which plenty of trendy coffee shops are now offering as an added bonus to your coffee.

People are getting confused, and it's affecting Coffee By Design's mailorder business - because customers may be expecting coffee with cannabidiol in it, and not just CBD's famous roasts. 

“We’ve been mail-ordering coffee all over the country and Japan. If somebody orders our coffee and they think it has CBD in it, there’s going to be a problem.” Alan Spear said and added that if a coffee shop advertises that they sell CBD cold brew, meaning cold coffee with cannabidiol in it, "they’re in violation of the trademark."

Alan Spear wasn't familiar with CBD until recently when he spotted a convenience store that was advertising CBD. Bewildered, he called his staff to ask if the store was one of their wholesale customers, but was told no and the staff explained to him what it was.

Alan Spear hopes things can be sorted out the easy way, and the other coffee brewers that add CBD should just “take CBD off and call it what it is. Call it cannabidiol.”  Oh, Alan, if only it was that easy to make people stop using your trademarked name willy-nilly.


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