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­Starbucks slaps 'Starbarks' dog daycare with lawsuit threat over logo similiarities

Published time: October 13, 2012 11:02
Edited time: October 13, 2012 20:02
Screenshot from user Starbarks Dog Inc.

Screenshot from user Starbarks Dog Inc.

The coffee and canine worlds have collided, with java giant Starbucks threatening to sue a dog daycare facility over its trademark emblem.

The dog-sitting shop, opened outside of Chicago in March by Andrea McCarthy-Grzybek, uses a logo that very much resembles that of a certain internationally famous coffee company.

Its name – Starbarks – also sounds like the sort of place you might visit to order a cup of latte macchiato and a cookie. No arabica beans are to be found here, however: It's a place where you can drop off your furry friend before going to the office or elsewhere.

The green circle logo with two white stars on the sides and a white inscription reading 'Starbarks' does border on plagiarism. Still, McCarthy-Grzybek was surprised when she received a letter from the Seattle-based company asking her to immediately get rid of her company's name, logo and website – – in order to dodge a lawsuit.

The owner of the dog daycare facility has attracted a loyal clientele since its opening, and said that re-branding and making a new website will be a big financial issue for her. Still, if she refuses to follow the coffee giant’s recommendation she may soon face legal action.

Starbucks spokesperson Zack Hutson said that his company would prefer to resolve the trademark dispute "informally and amicably." However, the company has a "legal obligation to protect our intellectual property," Hutson told ABC News.

"We've made significant investments over the past 41 years to protect our trade," he said. "As a responsible trademark owner, we must take the necessary steps to protect it."