Tulsa Business Takes On Starbucks

Monday, February 26th 2007, 8:09 pm
By: News On 6

Chalk one up for the “little guy.” A Tulsa coffee shop took on coffee chain giant Starbucks and won. The News On 6’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.

“It was a surprise to all of us,” DoubleShot owner Brian Franklin said. “I 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.

“I just thought it would go away and then they started stretching it out and made it look like they were going to sue me,” said Franklin. “So 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.

“Just 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.

“Even if it went away and they didn’t file a lawsuit, I didn't think they would send a letter that said that they were closing their files, which they did,” he said.

Business keeps pouring into the DoubleShot, and Franklin keeps a framed reminder for all of the “little guys” out there.

"If the bully in the courtyard is messing with you, don't give up,” he said. “Stand 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 “double shot,” which is two shots of espresso.