Tulsa Business Takes On Starbucks
Monday, February 26th 2007, 8:09 pm
By: News On 6
Chalk one up for the â€œlittle guy.â€ A Tulsa coffee shop took on coffee chain giant Starbucks and won. The News On 6â€™s Ashli Sims reports the coffee clash started over a name.
Tulsa's DoubleShot Coffee Company is a java junkie's olfactory heaven. And mixed in with the fragrant coffee beans and fresh espresso is the scent of victory.
â€œIt was a surprise to all of us,â€ DoubleShot owner Brian Franklin said. â€œI was pretty excited."
Excited that a nerve-wracking, coffee-chugging half-year long legal battle was over. It all started last March when Brian Franklin got a letter from java-giant Starbucks. The company claimed Franklin's use of the name Doubleshot infringed on their trademarked beverage.
â€œI just thought it would go away and then they started stretching it out and made it look like they were going to sue me,â€ said Franklin. â€œSo I didn't know what was going to happen."
Franklin says it literally came down to a space in the sign on his door. He says Starbucks offered cash to get him to separate double and shot. But this David decided to take on Goliath.
â€œJust because they're wrong, and I'm not going to bow down to somebody who's wrong, who's breaking the law; doing their own thing. I can't do it," Franklin said.
Seven months after the first Starbucks correspondence, the company sent Franklin another letter. He says he had no idea he'd come out on top.
â€œEven if it went away and they didnâ€™t file a lawsuit, I didn't think they would send a letter that said that they were closing their files, which they did,â€ he said.
Business keeps pouring into the DoubleShot, and Franklin keeps a framed reminder for all of the â€œlittle guysâ€ out there.
"If the bully in the courtyard is messing with you, don't give up,â€ he said. â€œStand up for what's right."
Starbucks says Brian Franklin may not use the Doubleshot name in reference to any ready-to-drink beverages. But he says every coffee shop in the country has a â€œdouble shot,â€ which is two shots of espresso.