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State and Nation Business

McDonald's files trademark for ground coffee

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's Corp. has filed trademarks for ground and whole bean coffee, suggesting that the world's biggest hamburger chain may start selling its brew in stores or in supermarkets.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company filed the trademarks for "McCafe" ground and whole bean coffee last month. A spokeswoman for McDonald's, Danya Proud, said it was nothing unusual.

"As part of doing business, we register a number of trademarks to protect our brand equities," Proud said. "This is nothing new."

Aside from its gift cards, Proud said McDonald's does not currently sell any products in supermarkets.

A big part of McDonald's success story in recent years has been the expansion of its beverage business; the company introduced is premium coffee drinks in 2009 and followed up with fruit smoothies the following year. But a move into bagged coffee would be new ground at a time when the fast food chain's growth around the world has slowed.

The trademark filings also come as Starbucks Corp. aggressively moves beyond its ubiquitous cafes and into the retailing business. The Seattle-based company recently introduced its single-serve brewer, which lets people make brewed coffees and lattes at home.

The filing of McDonald's trademarks was reported previously by a website called Burger Business and The Wall Street Journal.

Shares of McDonald's rose 63 cents to $90.98 in afternoon trading Thursday. Its shares have risen 6 percent since trading at a 52-week low of $85.92 on June 8.

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