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星巴克与埃塞俄比亚的商标大战

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核心提示:Starbucks vs. Ethiopia By Stephan Faris, Fortune February 26 2007: 5:56 AM EST The country that gave the world the coffee bean and the company that invented the $4 latte are fighting over a trademark, says Fortune's Stephan Faris. 一个是为世界生产咖

Starbucks vs. Ethiopia

By Stephan Faris, Fortune

February 26 2007: 5:56 AM EST


The country that gave the world the coffee bean and the company that invented the $4 latte are fighting over a trademark, says Fortune's Stephan Faris.

一个是为世界生产咖啡豆的国家,一个是发明 4 美元一杯的拿铁咖啡的公司,为争夺一个商标,双方展开激烈争战。


To produce a pound of organic sun-dried coffee, farmers in the southern Ethiopian village of Fero spread six pounds of ripe, red coffee cherries onto pallets near their fields. They sun the fruit for 15 days, stirring every few minutes to ensure uniform dryness, then shuck the shells.

埃塞俄比亚南部 Fero 村的咖啡农需要把 6 磅成熟红咖啡果粒放在田边的草垫上晒干,才能生产出一磅天然干咖啡。他们把咖啡果粒摊在太阳下晒 15 天,每隔几分钟就要翻动一次,以保证干度均匀,然后再剥去果壳。


Last season, that pound of coffee fetched farmers an average price of $1.45. Figuring in the cost of generator fuel, bank interest, labor and transport across Ethiopia's dusty roads, it netted them less than $1. In the U.S., however, that same pound of coffee commands a much higher price: $26 for a bag of Starbucks' roasted Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo.

在上个季度,对于这样一磅咖啡,咖啡农平均只卖到 1.45 美元的价钱,再扣除电机燃料、银行利息、劳务费和埃塞俄比亚土路运输费等各项成本,每磅咖啡中咖啡农净赚不到 1 美元。然而,在美国,同样的一磅咖啡要价却高得多: 一袋星巴克牌烘炒 Shirkina 晒干西达摩居然卖到 26 美元的高价。


The price differential, says Getachew Mengistie, head of Ethiopia's Intellectual Property Office, is evidence that his country has been unable to capitalize on what he calls its intellectual property. The Fero coffee is an extreme example, but it's not the only one. Ethiopia's specialty beans routinely retail abroad for three times the price of ordinary coffee.

埃塞俄比亚知识产权署总长格答乔•孟吉斯蒂(Getachew Mengistie)说,这个差价证明他的国家未能很好地利用其所说的知识产权。Fero 咖啡就是一个极端的例子,但不是唯一的例子。埃塞俄比亚的土产咖啡豆通常照例销往海外,售价是普通咖啡的三倍。


Getachew, who like most Ethiopians goes by his given name, argues that if the higher rates were simply the product of investments in roasting, packaging or marketing, distributors could do the same with any coffee. Since they don't, he says, some of the extra value must originate where the beans are grown. "There is clearly an intangible value in the specialty coffee of Ethiopia," he says. "But it's not being captured here."

就像绝大多数埃塞俄比亚人一样,格答乔使用教名相称。他说,假如价格上涨仅仅只是在咖啡烘炒、包装或营销过程中投资的结果,那么,经销商用任何一种咖啡都应能得到同样的结果。他说,既然经销商们做不到这一点,这就说明有一部分超价值肯定来源于咖啡豆的产地。他说: “很显然,在埃塞俄比亚的土产咖啡中有某种无形价值,但埃塞俄比亚却没有拿到这部分无形价值。”


That observation put the country that is the birthplace of the coffee bean on a collision course with the company that gave the world the $4 latte. The conflict began in March 2005, when Ethiopia filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the names of three coffee-producing regions: Yirgacheffe, Harrar and Sidamo, where Fero is located.

这种看法促使这个咖啡豆出产国踏上了同星巴克公司冲突的道路。后者是一家向世界推出 4 美元一杯的拿铁咖啡的公司。这场冲突从 2005 年 3 月份开始。当时,埃塞俄比亚向美国专利与商标署提出申请,要求用 3 个咖啡产地的名称作为商标: 这 3 个咖啡产地分别是耶加雪、哈拉尔和西达摩,Fero 村正位于西达摩境内。


It was an attempt to use tools usually reserved for corporations in developed economies to wrest profit from their distributors. By seizing control of these brands, the Ethiopian government planned to force those who sell its coffee into licensing agreements, eventually obtaining a larger share of the sales.

这一行动意在利用通常为发达国家的公司所保留的手段,从经销商手中争夺一部分利润。埃塞俄比亚政府计划通过获得这些品牌的控制权,迫使销售其咖啡的那些公司签订许可证协议,最终获得更大部分的销售额。


But in the case of Sidamo, Starbucks (Charts) had got there first, with an application the year before to trademark Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo. Until that application was resolved, Ethiopia's claim could not go forward. The country asked Starbucks to drop its claim but received no answer for more than a year, says Kassahun Ayele, Ethiopia's ambassador to the U.S. at the time: "They said, 'You have to talk to our lawyers.'"

但是,在西达摩这一事情上,星巴克首先占到了先机,在年前就已申请用“Shirkina 晒干西达摩”这个名称的注册商标。在这一申请最终得到裁定之前,埃塞俄比亚的要求不可能有任何进展。该国要求星巴克放弃其注册商标的要求,但一年多来没有得到任何答复。埃塞俄比亚当年驻美国大使卡萨恩•艾莱(Kassahun Ayele)说: “他们说,你必须去同我们的律师商谈。”


The coffee company's objection was to Ethiopia's choice of intellectual-property protection. Trademarking is an unusual, though not unprecedented, choice for a geographic region. It gives the holder the exclusive right to use the name in branding, but it doesn't place any requirements on the product. Instead, Starbucks argues, Ethiopia would be better served by another form of protection, called geographic certification, used for such products as Idaho potatoes, Roquefort cheese and Florida oranges. It guarantees that the product comes from the stated region but allows others to use the name in their branding. Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kona coffees have geographic certifications. "I can't name one case where there are trademarks for coffee," says Dub Hay, senior vice president for coffee and global procurement at Starbucks.

这家咖啡公司拒绝的理由是,埃塞俄比亚不应选择知识产权保护的这条途径。给一个地理区域注册商标,虽说并非没有先例,但却很不寻常。因为用地名注册商标,使商标拥有者在品牌建设中享有使用该名称的独占权,但却对相应的产品没有任何的要求。相反,星巴克辩称,埃塞俄比亚假如采用另一种保护形式,可能会得到更好的保护。这另一种保护形式叫做“地理证明”,已用于诸如爱达荷甜薯、洛克福羊乳干酪和佛罗里达橙桔此类的产品。它保证产品来源于所述的地区,但同时也准许其他人在其品牌中使用这个名称。牙买加的蓝山和科纳咖啡都有地理证明。星巴克公司咖啡和全球采购高级副总裁达布•海(Dub Hay)说: “用地名作为咖啡商标的例子,我连一个也找不到。”


Ethiopia doesn't deny that its choice is unorthodox, countering that its industry, in which 95 percent of the coffee is produced by two million subsistence-level farmers, is too unwieldy and impoverished to take on the administrative burden required to guarantee geographic origin. "If you set up certification, you have to bear the cost," says Ron Layton, head of Light Years IP, a nonprofit intellectual-property consultancy that has been advising Ethiopia.

埃塞俄比亚并不否认自己的选择不合常规。它反驳说,在这个行业中,95% 的咖啡都是由 200 万咖啡农生产的,这些咖啡农徘徊在生存线边缘,劳动太繁重,生活太贫穷了,根本承担不起保证地理来源所需要的管理负担。光年知识产权公司(Light Years IP)总裁罗恩•雷顿(Ron Layton)说: “如果你进行了认证,你就不得不承担相应的成本。”这是一家非营利性的知识产权顾问机构,一直向埃塞俄比亚提供顾问服务。

More to the point, certification wouldn't require distributors to seek permission to use the names in their branding. Starbucks, for instance, could still sell Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo, as long as its beans came from the region. "It doesn't give you that control over the market," says Getachew.

更一针见血的是,认证并不能要求经销商要经过许可才能在其品牌中使用这些名称。例如,只要其所采用的咖啡豆源于这个地区,星巴克仍然可能会销售 Shirkina 晒干西达摩。格答乔说: “认证,它并不能赋予你对市场的控制权。”


To blunt some of the opposition, Ethiopia has said it will not ask for royalties for its trademarked beans. The initial licensing requirements would be simply to label the beans prominently on the package and help in the promotion of Ethiopian coffee. "When demand for Ethiopian coffee grows, we will be able to ask for higher prices," says Getachew. Only if that strategy fails, he says, would other options, such as minimum prices, be pursued.

为了减少反对意见,埃塞俄比亚已经声明对其注册商标的咖啡豆不要求提成费。初步的特许权规定只是在包装上明显地贴上咖啡豆的商标,以有助于促销埃塞俄比亚的咖啡。格答乔说: “这样,当埃塞俄比亚咖啡需求量增加时,我们就能索要高价。”他说,只有当这项战略不能奏效时,才会采用其他途径,如设定最低限价。


For Starbucks, the scenario is a potential public relations disaster, pitting the coffee company, which had record revenue of $7.8 billion last year, up 22 percent over 2005, against one of the world's poorest countries. The Seattle company has no shops in Ethiopia or indeed in sub-Saharan Africa, but Starbucks does source 2 percent of its beans from Ethiopia, accounting for 2 percent of the country's crop. It has also spent $2.4 million in investments and loans in Ethiopia since 2002. "We need these coffee farmers to be in business," says Hay.

对于星巴克来说,这个情景无异于一场潜在的公关灾难,迫使它深陷同世界上最贫困国家一争高下的泥淖。这家西雅图公司去年营业收入突破历史纪录,达到 78 亿美元,比 2005 年增加了 22%。它在埃塞俄比亚,甚至在整个非洲撒哈拉以南地区都没有一家店铺,但却的确有 2% 的咖啡豆是从埃塞俄比亚采购,占到该国总收成的 2%。自 2002 年以来,它已经在埃塞俄比亚花费 240 万美元进行投资和贷款。海说: “我们需要这些咖啡农继续经营下去。”


Nobody is arguing that the farmers have it easy. In a UN ranking of human development, Ethiopia placed 170th out of 177 countries. A recent visit to Fero found most coffee farmers working without shoes. Their clothes were ripped. Most live in mud huts with thatched roofs and subsist on the fruits and vegetables they grow. "We are angry," says Teshome Debigo, a 28-year-old farmer. "But to whom can we cry?"

没人会说这些咖啡农过得舒适安逸。根据联合国一项人类发展排序,在 177 国家中,埃塞俄比亚排在第 170 位。最近对 Fero 村的一次考察发现,绝大多数咖啡农干活时连鞋子都没有,衣服破烂不堪。大多数人居住在茅草屋顶的土屋中,靠自种的水果、蔬菜勉强为生。28 岁的咖啡农特绍姆•德比戈(Teshome Debigo)说: “我们非常气愤,但我们能对谁哭诉呢?”

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