Berkeley, California’s Supersonic Coffee is changing names. After three years under the epithet, the specialty coffee roaster is rebranding as AKA Coffee after threat of legal action from Sonic Drive-In for brand “dilution”.
In a statement released by AKA née Supersonic, Managing Director John Laird states:
The press release notes that while the coffee roaster and the fast food restaurant occupy different market spaces, Sonic’s lawyers claimed potential for brand confusion “and stated—in no uncertain terms—that when Supersonic Coffee opened any retail operations, Sonic would pursue legal action to defend their trademarks.“
Personally, I think Sonic’s claim has some legs. I can’t begin to count the number of times I was at the drive-in trying to get a nice cup of Chelelektu only to be given a chilidog instead. Or how I would go to the Supersonic website to order some of that good ice, from the back of the freezer (shout out to all my fellow former rollerblading Sonic carhops) only to be shut out time and time again.
Supersonic began roasting and shipping coffee under the new name as of October 24th, with plans for a retail space to open in the East Bay some time in 2017. Their full statement can be found here.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.