A cease-and-desist plus shutting them out of markets.
Black Hand Coffee (3101 Patterson Ave) was trying to get its single serving coffee K-cups into market but ran into problems when Green Mountain slapped them with a cease-and-desist letter. The use of the phrase “K-cup” is trademarked by Green Mountain and they are defending that trademark vigorously.
That is not the only problem Black Hand has run into and Richmond BizSense.com has the full story.
Black Hand has had trouble landing deals with independent distributors of single-serving coffee cups that also do business with Green Mountain, he said.
“We were turned away [by distributors] due to the fact that they were carrying Keurig products,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert’s original strategy was to work with such distributors to get Black Hand single-serving cups into offices across Richmond. He said he’s since had to rethink his plans to sell the 36,000 Black Hand single serve cups he has in production.
Black Hand isn’t the only company that claims to have run into the dominance of Green Mountain.
TreeHouse Foods, a food manufacturer in Illinois, this month filed a lawsuit against Green Mountain, accusing the company of trying to illegally maintain a monopoly over the single-serving cup market.
Black Hand Coffee is currently taking pre-orders for their single serve coffee cup that are compatible with a coffee machine that starts with K on their website.
Image: Black Hand Coffee