business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Sun Times tells the, tale...of a boarding facility for dogs that the owner, Andrea McCarthy-Grzybek, thought was pretty clever.

Starbarks Dog Daycare.

Starbucks was not amused. It has sent a legal notification to the company saying that it has to change its name, or else.

Negotiations are ongoing, though McCarthy-Grzybek concedes that she does no have the wherewithal to do legal battle with Starbucks.

The story notes that while it seems unlikely that anyone would confuse the doggie boarding facility with an upscale coffee shop, experts do say that Starbucks has to protect its trademark consistently, or risk losing its rights over the long term.
KC's View:
I get the whole trademark protection argument.

But I have to admit that I find it ironic, considering that somewhere the descendants of Herman Melville probably would like to have a little Starbucks profit participation, considering that the coffee behemoth appropriated the name of one of the major characters in his novel, "Moby-Dick."

Maybe that should be McCarthy-Grzybek's defense - that she's making a literary allusion, not trying to trade on another company's commercial success.

By the way, Nation's Restaurant News reports in other Starbucks-related developments that it will roll out the Square mobile payments system in the US beginning in November, at the same time as it begins integrating Apple's new Passbook application ... it has two more Evolution Fresh juice bars slated to be opened before the end of the year, in San Francisco and Seattle ... and it will start selling La Boulange products in its US stores, beginning in San Francisco area, in late spring 2013. (It acquired the company that owns the La Boulange bakery brand for $100 million earlier this year.)