ernie yacub on Sun, 4 Aug 2002 19:01:42 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Starbucks vs. Sam Bucks - think you own your name?

Astoria Coffee War; Starbucks vs. Sam Bucks
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 05:35:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: MichaelP <>

Astoria Coffee War
by Tom 10:54pm Thu Aug 1 '02 (Modified on 12:03am Fri Aug 2 '02)

Starbucks coffee has attacked a local Astoria businesswoman-- they say she
is guilty of using her own name on her store. (article 1)

Think you own your name? That you can use it wherever you want? Maybe not.

Nearly two years ago, in October 2000, Samantha Buck of Astoria, Oregon
bought a small coffee shop in downtown Astoria and named it Sam Bucks
after herself.

One year later, Starbucks Coffee opened a Starbucks store inside Fred
Meyers, five miles away. Starbucks' lawyers then served Samantha Buck with
a cease and desist order: she must stop using her own name on her store,
because they claimed it was causing confusion for Starbucks customers who
might be led to believe they were patronizing a Starbucks store when in
fact, they were going into Sam Bucks. They offered her $500 for the
expense of removing her name from her store.

Sam said no thank you, and soon thereafter, Starbucks filed a lawsuit. She
must rename her store or an injunction will be filed, and assuming a
properly corporate-friendly judge, will likely be issued and enforced. If
Sam Buck continues to use her name on her store, she can be found in
contempt of court, and can be jailed.

Starbucks of course, is under the impression that they own not only the
name Starbucks which they plagiarized from Herman Melvilles Moby Dick
without attribution but also anything that sounds vaguely like Starbucks.
This is the law of intellectual property, which perversely twists what was
originally intended to be a law to protect individual creators from abuse
by predatory corporations into a tool used by predatory corporations to
destroy individuals!

This might just be a tempest in a teapot except that it is not unique and
it is emblematic of the rapidly progressing division of the world into
fiefdoms controlled by globe-spanning corporations, each with their own
exclusive logos, whose express purpose is to suppress all competition and
destroy all diversity in their respective spheres of influence. This is
called "free market capitalism."

Samantha Buck has received a great deal of local support and publicity in
the local paper in addition to stories in Portland and Seattle papers and
Seattle IndyMedia. Patrons from Portland and Seattle make a point of
stopping in to offer their help. She has the will to fight, and a little
money. The store liability insurance may help a little but she is going to
need a lot more to do battle with a multi-national corporation.


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