Starbucks, Sambucks, Starboch, Charbucks, Xingbake

by Tamera H. Bennett On December 1, 2005 a federal judge in Portland ruled that Samantha Buck-Lundberg ("Sam Buck") was infringing on the Starbucks trademark by using the "Sambucks" name on her Astoria, Oregon coffee shop. Buck-Lundberg decided to fight Starbucks and was found to be "willingly infringing" on the trademark.

Although in most situations a court cannot order a person to stop using their legal name as part of their business name, the court found that "Sam Bucks" was a nickname and they further found that consumers were confused by the name.

Starbucks aggressively protects its trademark rights and has sued numerous "potential" infringers in the United States and internationally.

Other recent defendants in Starbucks actions include "Starboch" (a Texas beer), "Charbucks" (a dark roast coffee brand), and "Xingbake" (a Chinese coffeehouse chain, whose name when translated from Chinese to English sounds like "Star Buck").