ratcitystarbucks.jpgThe Starbucks Coffee Company has apparently decided not to protest the logo of the Rat City Rollergirls, a Seattle-based roller derby league.  According to Starbucks, the company had concerns about a “very similar look and feel of the logo.”

Under trademark law, Starbucks had asked for an extension to file an official objection to the Rollergirls’ logo with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  However, since Starbucks has not follow-up with a challenge and and their trademark inquiry has been automatically terminated.

We won’t know why Starbucks dropped the issue but it probably has something to do with the (lack of) likelihood of confusion between a coffee shop and what amounts to female “wrestling on wheels.”  But, Starbucks has been know to be aggressive in protecting its mark and has sued plenty of others over trademark issues.

Earlier, Starbucks has won a trademark infringement suit against a Chinese company which opened a chain of coffee shops under the name Xingbake – Chinese for Starbucks.  The Chinese court ordered Shanghai Xingbake to stop using its name, to pay RMB500,000 ($62,000) in compensation to Starbucks and to issue an apology in a local newspaper.

In another case, a federal court ruled that Sam Buck had change the name of her Astoria, Oregon coffee shop and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to Starbucks to cover its legal fees following a legal battle that lasted three and a half years.

The Rat City Rollergirls have, by default, the green light to use their trademark and will not have to change their logo.

More at Slog.

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