Andrea McCarthy-Grzybek opened a dog daycare in Illinois earlier this year. Then, she got a letter from Starbucks telling her to change her daycare's name and logo — or else, reports Stephanie Zimmermann at the Chicago Sun-Times.
The daycare is called Starbarks Dog Daycare, and its logo looks quite similar to the international coffee giant's.
“We have a legal obligation to protect our intellectual property ... in order to retain our exclusive rights to it,” a Starbucks spokesperson tells the Sun-Times. He said that Starbucks would prefer to keep things out of court, if possible.
Yes, it's true that the logos (and names) are similar. McCarthy-Grzybek says that she offered to change the colors and switch the stars to paws, but Starbucks wasn't having any of it.
So far, she has already spent about $2,000 in legal costs defending her doggie daycare. Funds are usually the biggest problems for small businesses trying to fight big corporations, although they do manage to win trademark disputes like this on occasion.
Here's what McCarthy-Grzybek had to say to her customers on Facebook:
"We at Starbarks Dog Daycare & Boarding are disappointed to announce that the coffee giant has sent us a cease and desist letter. They are demanding us to stop using our logo and the Starbarks Dog name. They are saying it violates their trademarked logo and name also it is likely to cause confusion among consumers. As disappointed as we are of their demands, it will not affect the day to day activities at Starbarks Dog Inc. We remain the same caring and loving facility for your dogs. I will keep you all informed on this issue"
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