Oatly's trademark mission continues...

Oatly are at it again! Within weeks of losing their High Court trademark battle against fellow oat milk producer Glebe Farm Foods, Oatly have started another trademark battle. The Times have reported that Oatly are taking on Nottingham-based Skinny Food Co over their use of the term ‘barista’ on its syrups and non-dairy creamers ‘Skinny Barista’.

Oatly has applied to the European Intellectual Property Office to trademark the term ‘barista’, a term used to describe plant-based milk alternatives that are popular with professional baristas and coffee aficionados. 

Although this application is still pending, the Swedish oat milk giant is already taking action in what has been described as ‘bullying tactics’.

A spokesperson for Oatly was quoted that it ‘in no way stopped Skinny Food from using Skinny Barista’. Rather, it ‘only questioned their registration’. This is until it is confirmed whether ‘barista’ can be trademarked or not. And, Oatly says this is a ‘completely administrative process and is not a court matter’.

Oatly also confirmed: “Whilst waiting for the decision, Oatly has opposed to others trying to register ‘barista’ as a trademark for plant-based milk-alternative products. If we didn’t, that could stop Oatly from using it if it is decided to be a trademark. In the same way, other brands have vigorously opposed Oatly’s registration.”

Oatly already own the trademarks for Barista Edition and Hey Barista.

Skinny Food is set to argue the brand can’t monopolize the term ‘barista’. It’s already used by many other big brands like Alpro, Mighty Pea, Glebe Farm Foods, Rude Health and the quirky branded Minor Figures packaging. Barista-style oat milk incorporates more fat to produce a creamier texture and a strong foam. In a nutshell, Oatly are trying to trademark the vegan equivalent of ‘full-fat’ milk.

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