Our Sam may be a star, but Sambuck's is not Starbucks's...and I doubt anyone would confuse the two. Well, anyone other than a corporate attorney, that is. Just down the road in Astoria, a hole-in-the-wall has fought the (strip)mall and the mall won. Sam Buck, the owner of Sambuck's Coffee House in Astoria just lost a court decision in which a federal judge ruled that she was willfully infringing on the coffee behemoth's trademark by naming her coffee shop after herself. Note that she did this in 2000 before there was a single coffeeBehemoth store in Astoria. Apparently when they arrived in town in 2002 they decided to care about Sam's little place and sue her.
Let me pause for just a moment to say that any business that names itself after a character in a classic book that was written long before they were incorporated and then claims that character's name as if they'd invented it needs to take a good look at itself. Whats next? No more Moby Dick readings because they say the word? I've hung in there with coffeeBehemoth through a lot of stupidity--even when they responded to criticism of their inclusive stance on coffee cup quotes by adding one that was anything but. (For some reason I thought that it might get a homophobe to think, "well, the coffee's good, maybe being gay is okay too" and lighten up. Silly me.)
I must admit that I haven't been into Sam's place yet, even though I get espresso everytime I go to Astoria, sometimes at coffeeBehemoth. Not anymore. Next time I will go to Sam's coffee house and I shall avoid coffeeBehemoth like the avian flu. Although I may stop by, cup of Sam's coffee in hand, to tell them why I am not shopping there anymore.
Odd that a company that claims to support small business in the form of farmer's overseas does its best to squish small business here at home. Fair trade, indeed.