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Starbucks fights “Haidabucks”

Apparently, Starbucks is threatening to sue a small British Columbia restaurant called “Haidabucks” for trademark infringement. From a story by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

Co-owner Darren Swanson says the “bucks” part of his establishment’s name refers to aboriginal culture, not coffee culture.

“Aboriginal men were called bucks and we’re also Haidas, so Haidabucks,” said Swanson. “The three aboriginal partners are all Haidas. That’s how we came up with the name.”

Swanson says his restaurant has a longhouse façade and looks nothing like a Starbucks. HaidaBucks is a 60-seat full service restaurant offering everything from coffee to quesadillas to seafood specials.

Officials at the coffee conglomerate say they will take legal action to stop the “confusing variation” of their name.

“I couldn’t see a StarBucks opening here for another 150 years…it’s a pretty isolated place,” Swanson says refering to the town of Masset, population 1,500.

“Lots of men out there are called Haida bucks. It’s kind of our pet name.”

I realize that Starbucks has to carefully police its trademark or risk losing it … but this is sort of nuts. That’s a picture of the restaurant above.

(Thanks to Stephanie for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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