Japan-based Morinaga Nyugyo Kabushiki Kaisha, known as Morinaga Milk, filed a trademark for the logo for its line of milk coffees in Singapore in 2013.
The black-and-white circular logo, branded "Mt. Rainier" includes an illustration of a mountain above the words "The Mountain of Seattle."
Seattle-based coffee company Starbucks filed an opposition claiming that the Mt. Rainier logo closely resembled its circular green-and-white mermaid logo, noting that the use of concentric circles were a key feature of the American coffee company's brand recognition. The Starbucks opposition also stated that the city of Seattle was closely associated to not only the company, but also to the coffee and café culture that is tied to the city it calls home.
Take a look at the two logos:
A recent ruling by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) rejected the Starbucks opposition, finding no similarity between the two logos. The ruling referred to the concentric circles as "a very simple device which is reduced to being part of the background and cannot on any count be considered to be a dominant feature." It went on to address the use of words related to Washington state: "Even if Mt. Rainier is an iconic symbol of Seattle, the evidence does not establish that the average Singaporean (or even an average Singapore coffee drinker) would make this link or connection with Mt. Rainier."