This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's literally a half ass lawsuit.
A Utah company, Bad Ass Coffee Co. of Hawaii, is suing Kicking Horse Coffee Co., claiming the Canadian brand is illegally calling its decaffeinated beans Half Ass.
Whoa mule, says Bad Ass, our decaf is HALF ASS (all upper case) and the name is trademarked.
Therefore, according to a new Bad Ass lawsuit in federal court in Salt Lake City, Bad Ass has the exclusive right to label its beans HALF ASS.
Bad Ass, with locations across the U.S., Virgin Islands and Japan, has grounds for its suit because it has used the name HALF ASS since 2002 to market its decaf, and obtained a trademark registration in January 2007.
"Bad Ass Coffee has continually used the HALF ASS mark to market its decaffeinated coffee and the HALF ASS mark has generated significant goodwill for Bad Ass Coffee," says Bad Ass.
But in early 2014, Kicking Horse Coffee of British Columbia started selling its decaf under the label Half Ass (not to be confused with its Kicking Ass beans). But Half Ass is "confusingly similar" to HALF ASS, Bad Ass says. As if Utah's company's claims weren't badass enough, its lawsuit alleges that "Kicking Horse Coffee's decaffeinated coffee "is of a quality that is inferior to the decaffeinated coffee that have [sic] been sold and are currently being sold by Bad Ass Coffee."
In mid-2014, Bad Ass told Kicking Horse to stop violating its HALF ASS trademark. Kicking Horse refused.
"Kicking Horse Coffee's actions are reckless and in willful disregard of Bad Ass Coffee's rights in the HALF ASS mark," Bad Ass says.
Bad Ass is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction barring Kicking Horse from using the Half Ass name on its decaf, the seizure of the coffee and the destruction of all the products bearing the Half Ass name and the forfeiture of all profits.
Bad Ass also wants the court to order triple damages.
Lynn Hodgson, with Kicking Horse Coffee, told The Tribune, "The matter is currently being addressed in good faith through appropriate channels and discussions are currently confidential."