Honolulu Beverage’s Opposes Trademark Application for Hawaiian Snack Company

Swedish liquor giant Honolulu has opposed the trademark application filed by a Hawaiian company for the product ‘Kaholo Kona Coffee’.

Representatives of Kahlua Coffee, The Absolut Co. filed an opposition notice against the application, arguing that Kaholo Coffee is “confusingly similar” and “virtually identical” to the company’s product, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur. It said consumers might think Kaholo Coffee is therefore connected to Kahlua’s products.

The Hawaiian Kaholo coffee brand was first developed by businessman Owen O’Callaghan in order to differentiate it from other snack products sold by him under his brand ‘Hawaiian Happy Cakes’.

O’Callaghan submitted the trademark application to the USIPO in March last year and said he was ‘surprised’ by the opposition noting that the word Kaholo is Hawaiian whilst Kahlua is not. “We want to resolve this before we continue selling that coffee brand,” O’Callaghan said, adding that the dispute against a company with deep pockets has already cost him thousands of dollars, adding that unlike most small firms, he’s not giving in

The Absolut Co, refused to comment on pending legal proceedings.

Following rejected settlement proposals, the two companies have moved into arbitration.

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