Starbucks Sues DoubleShot Espresso

To start the morning off, here’s a quote from Herman Melville’s seminal (ha ha!) American classic, Moby Dick. ” Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers’ hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules.” We’re not making this up.

Now let’s daringly leap to a related subject: for a company that stole its name wholesale from a character ifrom that same American novel, Starbucks sure does like to sue companies whose names merely rhyme with their own. Star Bock Beer. A small Astoria coffee shop named after its owner, Sam Buck. A company that sold a deep roast called Char Buck. HaidaBucks, a small sandwich shop in Masset, British Columbia, whose name was a “confusing variation.” The list goes on and on.

The latest in Starbucks exciting oeuvre of frivolous lawsuits against companies too small to defend themselves is a Tulsa, Oklahoma coffee shop called “DoubleShot Coffee.” Starbucks threatened to sue because the name of the shop was similar to their own Double Shot Espressos. Or anyone else’s Double Shot Espressos for that matter… that’s why the name was picked to begin with. As the owner of the shop says, “It’s a common thing you’d find in any coffee shop… It would be like Starbucks suing over the name ‘coffee’ in our name. It’s ridiculous.”

So here’s another reason not to get your coffee at Starbucks, outside of effete barristas pretending not to understand what medium means: Starbucks erases competition by forcing small companies to either cave completely or pay legal fees that they can’t afford. Starbucks bleeds them, in other words. Squeeze your hands in the gentle globules of the sperm, Starbucks.

Starbucks Vs The DoubleShot Coffee Company For Naming Rights [Blogcritics]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben Sherman says:

    There are no barristas that do not know what Medium means.

    Starbucks did not kill the small time competition in a market that *they invented*.

    That being said, they are bullies sometimes and need to be checked.


  2. mark duffy says:

    Because of them, I would never date a woman named Starbucks.

  3. The Unicorn says:

    Because of them, you wouldn’t be *legally allowed* to date a woman named Starbucks. Or rather, that woman would not be allowed to exist.

  4. Jay says:

    I know Starbucks is the big bad corporate bully sometimes, but let’s be realistic. “A company that sold a deep roast called Char Buck”? No way that’s not intentional, and Starbucks definitely has the right to defend against that.

  5. Why? What are they defending against? Even if it was intentional, the rule of thumb is whether or not a customer would reasonably be confused, or not be able to tell the difference. This is like the Grateful Dead suing Ben and Jerry’s for their “Cherry Garcia” ice cream.

  6. Brian Gee says:

    Uhhh… What market did starbucks *invent*?

    I mean, seriously, aren’t they just applying Walmart’s business model to a niche market?

  7. bifyu says:

    maybe the local barristas here aren’t such dicks, but since I resist pandering to the annoying starbuckspeak, I routinely order “small”, “medium”, “large”, etc and though they will confirm my order by holding up the appropriate sized cup, they don’t give me any flack about it.

    also, though it doesn’t appear on their menu, starbucks also has a “short” size, which would technically make it their small I guess — except few know about it, so the “tall” therefore becomes the default small. *gack*