A popular café previously going by the name of Strabuono has changed its name to Xtrabuono – and redesigned its logo – following its failure to overturn a court decision that found its branding to infringe on trademarks held by international coffee giant Starbucks.
The brand colouring has also been changed to red, with a yellow lion that has been carried over from the previous logo.
Somewhat fittingly, and perhaps reflecting the owners’ feelings about the case, the lion bears an expression that is equal parts dismay and defiance.
The case made headlines in early 2022 when an initial judgement was handed down to the St Paul’s Bay establishment formerly known as Strabuono, ordering it to pay €2,000 in damages and to destroy any material bearing the old logo by mid-February 2022.
At the time, eCommerce Consultant Matthias Camilleri ripped into the local café, saying he was “unimpressed with the lack of creativity”.
He took particular offence at the similarities observed in practically all Strabuono’s branding, with a similar first part of the name (‘STRABU’ v ‘STARBU’), a similar shade of green, and a similar logo.
If Strabuono had made different choices, Mr Camilleri argued, “we would have probably cut them some slack”.
“But this case is wrong on so many levels.”
That initial judgement was appealed, but the case was brought to a close in January 2023 in a harshly worded sentence that described the case as “frivolous and vexatious”.
The court of appeal, presided over by Judge Giannino Caruana Demajo, Judge Tonio Mallia, and Judge Anthony Ellul, dismissed Strabuono’s attempt to retain its name, if not its logo, saying that if it were allowed to do so, it would be “free-riding” on Starbucks’ coat-tails due to the similarities that exist.
They argued that this would allow it to gain an economic advantage from the reputation of the world-famous company’s trademark.
The appeal earned Strabuono nothing but a doubling of the initial fine.
Now, over a year after the initial sentence, the establishment has complied with the court’s order, and now continues to welcome customers as Xtrabuono.
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