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Starbucks opposes Ethiopia’s plan to trademark speciality coffee names that could bring farmers an estimated £47 million annually

Global coffee giant Starbucks has opposed a plan by Ethiopia to gain more control over its coffee trade and a larger share of the earnings for millions of coffee farmers living in poverty, international agency Oxfam revealed today. Last year the Ethiopian government filed applications to trademark its most famous coffee names, Sidamo, Harar and Yirgacheffe. Securing the rights to these names would enable Ethiopia to capture more value from the trade, by controlling their use in the market and thereby enabling farmers to receive a greater share of the retail price...Starbucks prompted protests against the applications to be filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO has denied Ethiopia’s applications for Sidamo and Harar, creating serious obstacles for its project.

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