It appears as if Starbucks, the marketing juggernaut, has met its match in Ethiopia. Getachew Mengistie, Ethiopias’s director general of intellectual-property, has asked Starbucks to sign a licensing agreement which will allow Starbucks to use some (pending) Ethiopian trademarks associated with 3 regional brands of coffee. Starbuck has fought back, gotten a little stink on itself, and seems to have agreed to terms. This is some real “first world” shit Ethiopia is pulling. Brilliant!
My coffee already costs $3.50 at Starbucks and it may go up a few cents, but I’m addicted. I can’t help but feel that Starbucks is a dressed version of the East African khat dealers who sell their leafy stimulant on street corners. It’s more than a fad. We American’s really need our stimulants. And for the record, khat is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. Are you listening Mr. Mengistie?