Swedish liquor giant Honolulu has opposed the trademark application filed by a Hawaiian company for the product ÂKaholo Kona CoffeeÂ.
Representatives of Kahlua Coffee, The Absolut Co. filed an opposition notice against the application, arguing that Kaholo Coffee is “confusingly similar” and Âvirtually identicalÂ to the company’s product, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur. It said consumers might think Kaholo Coffee is therefore connected to KahluaÂs products.
The Hawaiian Kaholo coffee brand was first developed by businessman Owen OÂCallaghan in order to differentiate it from other snack products sold by him under his brand ÂHawaiian Happy CakesÂ.
OÂCallaghan submitted the trademark application to the USIPO in March last year and said he was ÂsurprisedÂ by the opposition noting that the word Kaholo is Hawaiian whilst Kahlua is not. ÂWe want to resolve this before we continue selling that coffee brand,Â OÂCallaghan said, adding that the dispute against a company with deep pockets has already cost him thousands of dollars, adding that unlike most small firms, heÂs not giving in
The Absolut Co, refused to comment on pending legal proceedings.
Following rejected settlement proposals, the two companies have moved into arbitration.