FROM Seth Petchers
Is Starbucks Blocking Ethiopia's Bid to Trademark Coffee? Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, applied to trademark three of its most famous varieties. After a protest by the National Coffee Association , the US Trademark and Patent Office denied the request. Starbucks , an Association member, advertises its good relationship with suppliers. With estimated revenues of $80 billion a year, coffee is the world's most valuable trading commodity after oil, according to Oxfam , which says that multinational companies are ripping off farmers in poor countries. The British charity claims Starbucks was behind the trademark denial.
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