The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Starbucks Corp.’s Seattle’s Best Coffee unit said Borders Group Inc.’s plans to reject store leases and abandon property could damage the java seller’s brand name and expose its trade secrets.
Seattle’s Best lodged a protest to the book retailer’s move to close about 200 stores with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan because the plan doesn’t properly address how address the Seattle’s Best cafés that operated in most of those Borders locations will be dealt with.
Seattle’s Best said its “interests will be materially affected by the closing” of Borders stores and it “may need to take steps to protect those interests, particularly with respect to its trademarks, trade dress, and trade secrets.”
The coffee company didn’t specify the nature of those trade secrets–perhaps how to whip up the perfect latte? But it did say that it provided training and “proprietary information” to the Borders employees who worked the cafés so that Seattle’s Best “beverages are prepared in accordance with SBC trade secrets.”
We'll keep an eye on this one for you.