Does Trademarking/Patent Go Too Far

Today is class branding a process came up. More specifically it was the Starbucks Clover process. If you don't know what this it's, ok neither did I. This process of brewing coffee is combing the french press with the vacuum pot. On the top of the machine there’s the top of controlled piston where the coffee is loaded. Water from a fixed tap above is poured in, and then after some stirring and brewing time the piston pushes up, with a 70 micron mesh drawing the grounds up to the top of the machine, while a vacuum sucks the coffee itself out of the bottom, into a waiting container. Crazy right. Seems like a lot of work for just a cup of coffee. This is a great example of brands trying to stay relevant and in Starbucks case it is a way to really deepen their roots into the product they sell. This process is one of Starbucks trademarked processes. Meaning "theoretically" no other brand/company can replicate it. In the end your may well why is this important? Did you all know that the famously sung " Happy Birthday to You" song was almost copyrighted by Warner/Chappell the music publishing group of privately owned Warner Music Group. In 2013 there was a settlement in the class action lawsuit. The come around to this is, I get it a process how a coffee is brewed can be "owned" but really are there so many ways to make coffee that inevitably the industry is saturated with trademarks and ownership. Coffee shops around the country are finding themselves devoted to the Starbucks name just because of this machine. But then again, that is where Starbucks is winning. They want to own the industry of coffee. Other coffee shops that want to use this same process, have to buy and rely on Starbucks machinery. I actually am looking forward to trying a Clover. I heard that it's the best coffee coffee out there. I never really thought about the type of roots Starbucks has in the coffee industry. They control the type of terminology their consumers use and the system in place that makes coffee an accessory. It is an accessory that reflects a consumers class. A

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