Intellectual Property in the Coffee Industry​

Ishan Puranik
Kirit P. Mehta School of Law

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. According to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, more than 3 million cups of coffee are consumed per day. Today, coffee is highly associated with several premium products, ranging from beverages to cosmetic products, thus coffee enjoys a somewhat elite connotation today, especially with the growth of premium coffee brands like Starbucks and McCafe. However, the situation is quite different on the other side of the chain, that is at the producer’s end. The intense competition and lack of differentiation between coffee farmers has caused severe competition between them, which has in turn resulted in low returns and poverse conditions for them.

This paper analyses the basic economic principles behind Intellectual Property Rights, and further examines the condition of the coffee industry, and how Intellectual Property can be used in the coffee industry. It explores the demand in the three sectors of coffee. The paper concludes that IP has a huge potential to enable gains in this industry.

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Coffee, Value Chain, First Wave, Second Wave, Third Wave.