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Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Starbucks vs. Starstrucks

Shahnaz Husain, an Indian entrepreneur in Mumbai.

She plans to start a string of 25 glamourous coffee shops in India, decorated with posters of (presumably Bollywood, and not Hollywood) movie stars.

God knows.


An excerpt from Reuters' report (Source: The Brunei Times):

Starbucks, the latest in a line of foreign companies facing branding challenges in India, is reported to be awaiting permission to open its coffee shops.The government had sought some clarifications from Starbucks on its joint venture arrangement.

Apparently, Starbucks has "complained to India's Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademark that the name is deceptively similar to its own name." Indeed, that sounds like they mean business, but does such a complaint seek? Is it to strike off the Starstruck mark from the Register of Marks? Otherwise, Starbucks may have to rely on other remedies, e.g. passing off by imitation of get-up, and also a prohibitive injunction/restraining order.

Confusing, deceiving marks would not be allowed registration. [link] A similar matter happened in the "MikeRoweSoft" case, where Microsoft bought over the domain from a 17 year old student named (eeriely enough) Mike Rowe. [link]

If you are from Starbucks and want some more advice on Starstrucks, feel free to contact me. :) [link]
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