Dunkin' Donuts sends cease-and-desist to local coffee shop

Markets Associated Press

A Massachusetts coffee shop owner says he received a cease-and-desist letter from Dunkin' Donuts claiming trademark infringement for riffing on the chain's catchphrase.

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Steve Copoulos tells the Sun Chronicle he added window art reading "North now runs on Mike's" on his Mike's Coffee shop in North Attleborough.

While he expected a few laughs from customers, Copoulos says he was surprised to find the letter from the Canton, Massachusetts-based coffee shop chain claiming he was infringing on their "America Runs on Dunkin'" slogan and Copoulos' variation implied an affiliation.

Copoulos says he wants to be the "exact opposite" of a corporate coffee chain and has since erased the sign.

Dunkin' Donuts, in a statement, said it wrote the letter, "In support of our legal rights under trademark law and in support of our franchisees."

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This story has been changed to correct that Dunkin' Donuts is based in Canton, Massachusetts, not Quincy.

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Information from: The (Attleboro, Mass.) Sun Chronicle, http://www.thesunchronicle.com