Submitted by Light Years IP
WASHINGTON, ADDIS ABEBA - November 6, 2007 - Green Mountain Coffee Roasters signed a Trademark and Licensing Distribution Agreement with Ethiopia, warmly acknowledging Ethiopia's ownership of the coffee brands Sidamo, Yirgacheffe and Harar and expressing its willingness to promote these coffees to American consumers.
Ethiopia's decision to make the licenses royalty-free emphasizes its focus on joint activities to promote and enhance the market awareness and the value of these brands, and to enlist the support of licensees like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in directly raising the income of small farmers by sourcing coffee at above-market prices through the Ethiopian Distributors’ Network.
"Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has stepped forward and closely followed our work so far. The whole team has clearly shown that it is prepared to work enthusiastically with Ethiopia to help it achieve its goals for this Initiative," said EIPO Director General, Getachew Mengistie today. He continued: "While this is an Initiative with its eyes set on the long-term alleviation of poverty, we feel we have reached an auspicious turning point, as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is one of the specialty coffee industry leaders to whom many of the hundreds of smaller roasters and retailers look as an example, and with a diverse and dynamic capacity for outreach through its wholesale system," he added.
"It has been extremely gratifying to work with the Ethiopian government to help bring its efforts to fruition," said Rick Peyser, Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. "We're pleased to support the growth of the Distributors' Network and lend focus to the unique characteristics of specialty Ethiopian coffees and the needs of small farmers in this region."
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' signing today brings the number of US, Canadian and European companies now in the new network of licensed distributors to 28. Ethiopia aims to sign up 50 companies by May 2008, with more than 25,000 outlets across the USA through which it will begin to promote its coffees, starting at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America conference held in Minneapolis in May 2008. At this event, Ethiopia will be featured as the Portrait Country, the first African country ever to receive this opportunity.
For more information on the Initiative and the Network of Licensed Distributors see the dedicated website: www.ethiopiancoffeenetwork.com.
Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office, Addis Ababa
Ethiopia Contact: 251 115 534 969
Ethiopian Embassy, Washington D.C.
About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is recognized as a leader in the specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees and successful business practices. The Company sells over 100 high quality selections, including Fair Trade Certified(TM) and organic coffees under the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters(R) and Newman's Own(R) Organics brands. While the majority of the Company’s revenue is derived from its wholesale, direct mail, and e-commerce operations (www.GreenMountainCoffee.com), it also owns Keurig, Incorporated, a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has been ranked No. 1 on the list of "100 Best Corporate Citizens" for the past two years, and has been recognized repeatedly by Forbes, Fortune Small Business, and the Society of Human Resource Management as an innovative, high-growth, socially responsible company.
Light Years IP (LYIP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty by assisting developing country producers gain ownership of their Intellectual Property (IP) and to use the IP to increase their export income and improve the security of that income. LYIP is pioneering a Poverty Alleviating IP Solutions (PAIPS) approach to help developing world producers identify and own their IP. We believe IP offers a business strategy that can help developing countries increase income, improve the security of their income, and alleviate poverty. We assist producers, exporters, and governments in the developing world to analyze their export potential with respect to identifying the value of intangibles and then using IP tools (i.e. patents, trademarks, licenses) to secure more sustained and higher export income. The ownership of IP is secured in market countries through the existing IP legal frameworks of the developed world.
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