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Latest Vittoria Coffee News
Apr 28, 2023
Jar wars: Moccona and Vittoria face off in court + Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), the US$22.4 billion American-Dutch coffee giant behind Moccona, has accused Australia’s Vittoria Coffee of ripping off Moccona’s “iconic” trademarked shape of instant coffee in a glass jar. The American-Dutch coffee company filed Federal Court proceedings against Vittoria and alleged that the latter is engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct by selling coffee in a glass jar that customers might mistake for a Moccona product. JDE has been selling Moccona in flat-top glass jars in Australia since the 1960s, and the company has made the jar a distinguishing feature of the Moccona brand, claiming it as one of its “crown jewels” and is of “utmost commercial importance”, using it prominently in marketing materials over the decades. Ross Tillman, head of category development and shopper insights at JDE, stated in the court documents that consumers use the glass jar as a “shortcut visual cue” to identify the product contained within it. The argument revolves around Vittoria’s 400-gram product, the only item equivalent to Moccona’s glass jar offering. Tillman claims that Vittoria’s 100-gram and 200-gram jars did not have the same influence on JDE as its 400-gram offering. “By advertising, promoting, offering for sale and selling infringing products in shape resembling [Moccona’s glass jar], [Vittoria] is likely to mislead some ordinary and reasonable consumers of coffee in Australia into the erroneous belief that the infringing products emanate from [JDE] or are otherwise connected, associated or affiliated with [JDE] and their premium coffee products,” said the court documents. JDE believes that if Vittoria continues to expand its distribution and sale of the coffee, the Moccona coffee maker’s reputation, goodwill, market share, and supermarket shelf space will suffer and the brand could force it to change its marketing strategy, which heavily features the jar. Vittoria, founded in Sydney in 1947, began selling instant coffee in supermarkets during the pandemic in May 2021. The company said it would “vigorously defend” itself in the proceedings and has filed a cross-claim, stating that JDE’s trademark for the Moccona jar is invalid, ought to be cancelled, and that Moccona’s jar was not different to any other. “We don’t need, nor would we attempt, to trade off Moccona’s reputation because, in effect, our reputation is so strong,” said Les Schirato, CEO at Vittoria. In its cross-claim, the Australian coffee company will argue that JDE’s trademark for the Moccona jar is invalid and should be invalidated and that Moccona’s jar was not distinguishable from any other glass jar. Vittoria further asserts that JDE has not used the trademarked design and has no plans to do so. “The KDE Shape Mark is a functional design [being a container] and is not to any extent inherently adapted to distinguish the designated goods or services from the goods or services of other persons,” outlined in Vittoria’s claims. “Any use of a container or a jar was not use[d] as a trademark, but rather use[d] as a functional container, and thereby does not distinguish the designated goods or services as being those of KDE.” Schirato added that the Vittoria logo, prominently featured on the glass jar’s label, removes any confusion in the consumer’s mind that the product is associated with Moccona. “You don’t get Moccona being served in cafes, restaurants, and five-star hotels,” he continued. “So, for me, the issue of passing off or trying to attempt to pass off on their reputation is not something we would ever want.” The recent “Jar Wars” have sparked reactions from Aussies over Reddit : Reddit user Key_Recording_3564 said: “Mocconna really need to lose this case and pay the cost. They argue that Australians are morons and just glance at a jar and don’t bother looking at anything else.” LittleBookOfRage said: “Yeah, I’m not a coffee snob and don’t mind instant. Thanks to the Streisand Effect and wanting to support an Australian company, I will be buying Vittoria now.” SixFootJockey said in sarcasm: “Glass jars are confusing. One day I tried to buy a jar of pickles, but came home with a jar of instant coffee instead. How tragic.” Justice Michael Francis Wheelahan has ordered both parties to provide further evidence and documents for discovery, to assist in the preparation of joint expert reports, and to advise on witnesses required to attend the trial for cross-examination. The matter is listed to be heard on February 20, 2024, for an estimated nine days.
Vittoria Coffee Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Vittoria Coffee founded?
Vittoria Coffee was founded in 1947.
Where is Vittoria Coffee's headquarters?
Vittoria Coffee's headquarters is located at 118 Wetherill St, Silverwater.
Who are Vittoria Coffee's competitors?
Competitors of Vittoria Coffee include Caffe Borbone and 4 more.
Compare Vittoria Coffee to Competitors
Groundwork Coffee Co. produces certified organic coffee. The company also sells organic tea, coffee mugs, apparel, gift cards, and more via its e-commerce site. It was founded in 1990 and is based in North Hollywood, California.
Dualit is a food and beverage manufacturing company. It manufactures coffee and tea capsules and kitchen and catering equipment. It caters to new and existing coffee players. It was founded in 1945 and is based in Crawley, United Kingdom.
Caffe Borbone produces and distributes coffee, coffee pods, and capsules. It also offers herbal teas and solubles. The company's coffee pods and capsules include waffles, compatible capsules, coffee bar grain, vending grain, grounded Moka, and many more. It also provides accessories such as mugs, cups, trays, t-shirts, napkins, and related products. Caffe Borbone was founded in 1997 and is based in Caivano, Italy. In March 2018 Italmobiliare acquired a majority stake in Caffe Borbone for $172.44M.
Wake Coffee Roasters produces and supplies roasted coffee products. The products include multiple blends and origins of coffee, peaberry coffee, matcha green tea, and more. Wake Coffee was founded in 2017 and is based in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
Chiswara provides an e-commerce platform. The company grows, processes, and sells a variety of coffee beans. It was founded in 2018 and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Driftaway Coffee is an online coffee store that offers a monthly coffee subscription. It was founded in 2013 and is based in Brooklyn, New York.
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