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Astoria Coffee War

Starbucks coffee has attacked a local Astoria businesswoman-- they say she is guilty of using her own name on her store. (article 1)
Astoria Coffee War
Astoria Coffee War
Astoria Coffee War
Astoria Coffee War

Think you own your name? That you can use it wherever you want? Maybe not.

Nearly two years ago, in October 2000, Samantha Buck of Astoria, Oregon bought a small coffee shop in downtown Astoria and named it Sam Buck's- after herself.

One year later, Starbucks Coffee® opened a Starbucks store inside Fred Meyers, five miles away. Starbucks® lawyers then served Samantha Buck with a cease and desist order: she must stop using her own name on her store, because they claimed it was causing confusion for Starbucks customers who might be led to believe they were patronizing a Starbucks® store when in fact, they were going into Sam Bucks. They offered her $500 for the expense of removing her name from her store.

Sam said no thank you, and soon thereafter, Starbucks filed a lawsuit. She must rename her store or an injunction will be filed, and assuming a properly corporate-friendly judge, will likely be issued and enforced. If Sam Buck continues to use her name on her store, she can be found in contempt of court, and can be jailed.

Starbucks® of course, is under the impression that they own not only the name Starbucks®-which they plagiarized from Herman Melville's Moby Dick without attribution- but also anything that sounds vaguely like Starbucks. This is the law of "intellectual property", which perversely twists what was originally intended to be a law to protect individual creators from abuse by predatory corporations into a tool used by predatory corporations to destroy individuals!

This might just be a tempest in a teapot- except that it is not unique and it is emblematic of the rapidly progressing division of the world into fiefdoms controlled by globe-spanning corporations, each with their own exclusive logos, whose express purpose is to suppress all competition and destroy all diversity in their respective spheres of influence. This is called "free market capitalism."

Samantha Buck has received a great deal of local support and publicity in the local paper- in addition to stories in Portland and Seattle papers and Seattle IndyMedia. Patrons from Portland and Seattle make a point of stopping in to offer their help. She has the will to fight, and a little money. The store liability insurance may help a little- but she is going to need a lot more to do battle with a multi-national corporation.

Comments and questions can be directed to tduncan@pacifier.com

You rock, Samantha 01.Aug.2002 23:06

The PDX Prop Busta

We're all rootin' for you, Samantha !! Hang in there and fight the good fight !!

Anyone in Portland want to organize a solidarity demonstration at a Starbucks here in town? I'm up for it !!

don't support the system! 02.Aug.2002 08:57


the whole intellectual property thing is bullshit. the corporate world wants to own everything.

but the caffeine business is an evil one, since the effects of it are so nasty. a ritual beverage that is being used as a drug to keep us awake and alert so that we can DO more. skip the doubles and take a leisurely stroll or opt for 40 winks. consuming coffee is another way of supporting the system.

Curious IP Lawyer... 02.Aug.2002 11:32


Just wondering what kind of legal representation she has....I'm a lawyer with IP knowledge who'd be willing to help.

Yea For Small Business! 02.Aug.2002 14:22


In 1995 when I was in Hungary I became aware of the REAL Budweiser Beer. The name has been used for hundreds of years there, and guess what? The Amerikan Budweiser Company had the audacity to sue the Hungarian Budweiser for using the name. Honest. I don't know what happened, but presume that the REAL Budweiser won. BTW, Hungarian Bud is delicious. And Amerikan Bud tastes shitty. I don't care how many commericals they show with pretty women--its still lousy beer!

So here is a TOAST to Sam Bucks and to small businesses, too! The next time I am in Astoria I know where I will go and get a cup a joe.

State of Jefferson

Budweiser Budvar Won... 02.Aug.2002 15:07


Budweiser Budvar won the suit over the trademark to use "Budweiser" in Europe....the name comes from the city of Ceske Budejovice, in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic.

Budweiser, however, successfully blocked a Portland store from advertising a Budweiser Budvar bottle crushing a Bud can, with the slogan "Beer of Kings".

Intellectual Property 02.Aug.2002 15:28


I don't know who represents Samantha Buck. Someone in Portland. I am passing all this on to Sam so she can get an idea of what is going on in the world.

Small town girl getting her eyes opened fast.

Preserve the FREE "free market."

I would suggest.......... 02.Aug.2002 18:17

Shade grown

I would suggest she expand on the idea a little more and put up a bigger sign that reads "anti-corporate coffee" and another one that says "boycott Scarbucks". I had an idea a while ago for the anti-corporate coffee shop where we were gonna put up the sign and use a disquised starbucks logo. Yeah-hoo!

maybe a disclaimer? 03.Aug.2002 03:14

joe cuppa

Hey, maybe if she puts up the boycott starbucks sign, she can claim it's obvious no one will become confused and wander into her shop thinking it's a starhell...

Starbucks responds 03.Aug.2002 08:55


I wrote to Starbucks via email yesterday asking why they were taking such a ridiculous position. Here is the response; Dear Ms. Weaver, Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company with your feedback regarding the recent cease and desist letter delivered to Sambucks Coffee. We sincerely appreciate your comments regarding this issue. As a trademark owner, Starbucks has a legal obligation to enforce our rights when we believe another is being infringing or dilutive. We also have an obligation to our customers and shareholders to protect and grow our brand. When others trade on the goodwill of Starbucks, it dilutes the brand for our customers. While we certainly do not take pleasure in enforcement, it is our legal obligation to ensure the protection of our brand. In no way was our cease and desist letter meant to be threatening, but rather is an attempt to convey the seriousness of the situation. Starbucks always tries to resolve issues in an amicable manner. It is our hope that this situation will be resolved in an appropriate and timely manner. Starbucks directs great effort towards AIDS outreach and research, the Arts, Education, Literacy, the Environment, Diversity, and Children's Issues. To learn more about Starbucks participation in social responsibility, please visit our website at http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/csr.asp. If you have additional questions or feedback regarding these or any other issues, please feel free to contact us at info@starbucks.com or call 800-235-2883 to speak directly with a Customer Relations representative. Thank you again for your feedback. Sincerely, Kaitlin Customer Relations Starbucks Coffee Company


Starbucks was once a single store in Seattle 03.Aug.2002 09:07


It's entertaining to watch the petty bougeoisie wrestle with the heavyweight bourgeoisie.

This is hardly the "petty bougeoisie" 04.Aug.2002 09:24


You ought to come and see Sam's shop. Ths question is one of rights to a name. What is "ownwership"? Should everything be for sale? Should we own our own genes, for instance? Who ought to decide?

The force 05.Aug.2002 08:41


May the force be with you, Sam.


@ weaver 05.Aug.2002 19:24


quote: "it dilutes the brand for our customers"
I'm sick of the sick brains of this marketing people.
They want to protect their customers? har, har!
They seem to think that they're dealing with a bunch of complete idiots.
Either there is a difference between *bucks and the others, then their customers should be able to tell (if they are no idiots).
Or there's no difference and then they have to defend the right of their customers to THINK that they are different. In the end they're defending their customers' rights to fool themselves which seems to be the most advanced civil liberty in our advanced capitalist societies.
Just kick their a**.

Ocean Beach CA is with you 06.Aug.2002 13:16

Marc Snelling marc@obgo.org

We fought $tarbucks hard when they decided they wanted to move into our community which already had 9 independent coffee shops for 14000 people. They moved in and now they are boycotted by the majority of our community.

We have since organized on our local Plannign Board and come up with a Formula Retail Ban to prevent and further $tarbucks/fast food type outlets.

Take a look at our website if you want to see how our fight is going.

Ocean Beach CA is with you!

Ocean Beach CA is with you
Ocean Beach CA is with you

Power to the people! 07.Aug.2002 13:20


Power to SamBucks and Sam herself. If I wasn't on the otherside of the country I would be a regular myself!

Starbucks and their name 07.Aug.2002 16:48

A Corporate Drone

Under U.S. law, Starbucks must protect their trademark, or they risk losing it.

However, 'protecting' their trademark does not mean that they must attempt to eliminate any similar names. They have choices, including granting perpetual licenses under the trademark.

Starbucks has gone over the edge with this one.

Boycott STARBUTTS. 07.Aug.2002 17:59

Star Chuck

We're rooting for you Sam!
StarButts should realize that they're just making themselves look bad. I will never drink another StarButts anything, ever again.

This reminds me of an incident a few years back, when a man registered the domain name www.madonna.com and Madonna (the singer/slut) sued him on the grounds that her name was Madonna and no one else had the right to use her name.

Wait a minute! First off, her real name isn't Madonna, it's Louise or something like that. And second off, there was a Madonna long before she gave herself that moniker. 2000 years ago, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ was entitled "The Madonna."

It's sick how greedy people can get. LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Best Always.
Star Chuck

CALL FOR BOYCOTT! 07.Aug.2002 18:33

"My Name Belongs To Me"

Everyone who is supportive of Sam Buck's right to use her own name on her business should ACTIVELY boycott Starbuck's. There are other places to buy our coffee, even if we have to carry a thermos from home! In addition to denying Starbuck's our patronage, we should bury them in e-mails, letting them know that we disapprove of their actions regarding Sam Buck, and that we will never again buy coffee from Starbuck's unless they leave her alone. The power is in the money, and the money is in our hands! We can choose to give it to bullies like Starbuck's, or to independant entrepreneurs. Make your choice "freedom from corporate oppression!" E-mail Starbuck's today!

I am Sam 07.Aug.2002 19:47

Samantha Buck-Lundberg sambuckscoffeehouse@hotmail.com

Thank you for all the encouraging words. This is reaching more people then I could have ever imagined.

Samantha Buck-Lundberg

1154 Commercial Street

put on the gloves! 07.Aug.2002 21:06



The best way to beat 'em is pricing....Sam Bucks could easily be changed to Low Bucks (Keeping at least part of your name) and charging a REASONABLE rate for our daily fix.... Good luck to you and fight the good fight!

I'll take my name off my mailbox! 08.Aug.2002 00:31

Scott Buck

There's a town here in west-central Minnesota named Starbuck. I've never been there, so I don't know if they sell coffee anywhere in town. They better be very careful. Remember the song from the seventies called "Moonlight Feels Right?" The bands name was Starbuck. There's no telling where they are now, but they better be drinking tea! Good luck Sam

Starbucks has done skerueewed up now! 08.Aug.2002 03:24

copymark copymark@richmond.com

Followed the link from Dan Perkin's blog and I'm glad I did.

I'm a bit of a strong coffee addict myself and never had any one compelling reason to avoid the ubiquitous Starbucks until until I heard about this unbelievable bullying.

Anyone who has ever had the American dream of owning their own business should pay attention to this issue.

I'll be sure to tell my friends and Starbucks Inc. how I feel as well.

Go Sam!

Now you're nationwide!

Richmond, Virginia

Upholding Trademark Law 08.Aug.2002 05:59

Elayne Riggs elayneriggs@yahoo.com

As odious as this suit may be to some, and no matter how well intentioned Samantha Buck may be, if we ignore Starbucks' right to retain their trademark from dilution, we can effectively kiss goodbye any individual's right to retain their creations as well. Yes, Samantha Buck based her coffee shop's name on her own, but it's not like Starbucks didn't exist at the time. And it's also not like she's vending a different product (although Starbucks would probably claim trademark dilution even if she were). The question of dilution seems pretty clear-cut to me. If I owned a trademark, I'd be pissed if others swiped a version of it to make money too. Sorry, gotta side with the Big Evil Corporation here.

Call them and tell them you are boycotting 08.Aug.2002 06:43


I called Starbucks customer service line today, and I told them that I am effectively never buying a cup of coffee from them until they drop their lawsuit. I'm sure you all can do the same. Remember, companies don't give a flying rat's...tail..until you hit them where it hurts...the wallet.

Mike C. :)

Go Sam Buck! 08.Aug.2002 07:54

Samantha Ploetz

i got to this story from a weblog.
i am outraged that Starfucks is trying to get you out of business. they tried to push out the independent coffee shops in my college area too, but thank god the owners never sold.
fight the obscenity of Starfucks! keep your individuality!
talk to as many reporters as you can. you'll need the media support.
and i think it's great that your community is rallying for you.
good luck!

In response to 'Upholding the TradeMark Law' 08.Aug.2002 08:27


In response to the short blub about 'supporting the Big Evil Corporation'... the point is obviously missed.
By allowing Huge Multimillion Dollar Corporations (HMDC) to blatantly throw their money around to remove any form so called 'trademark infringement' the average Joe Public has no ability to retain any form of copyright or trademark themselves, because if a corporation ever descided, even after the fact, that the 'mark was theirs' then Joe public would not be able to fight. Money win legal cases, not justice.
Years ago, Amazon(dot)com tried to copyright the . (dot) in their name, thusly they could charge every website out there for use of the (dot). Thankfully the courts at the time were still somewhat lenient towards the populace that they are ment to serve and Amazon lost its crusade.
In the modern days the term 'intellectual property' has become perverted. The entire concept of 'PUBLIC DOMAIN' has nearly vanished, what with the increased length of copyright even after the original owner is DEAD. Look at Micheal Jackson, everytime you buy a Beatles CD, Ringo Star isn't getting that money... some irate member of the RIAA and Micheal Jackons are getting the money.

It's been a long missive, and I apologise... but as each of these little things happen, one can feel and see the oncoming downfall of this empire we live in.

Boycotting Starschmucks, its a start.
Support Small Business!

The Ronin.
A lone warrior fighting for the rights of the individual against a sea of corporate corruption and unfeeling uncaring government legislation.

While we're at it, Boycott BestBuy, and Walmart too!

Call Starbuck's 800-235-2883 08.Aug.2002 09:00

Sarah Satterlee sarahsez@dnai.com

I called the 800 number ( hit 00 to get a person): They've instructed their reps to collect whatever feedback they get.

Starbuck's Customer Relations:  info@starbucks.com or call 800-235-2883

Diluded! 08.Aug.2002 09:11

Funk Noka Norton fnoka@aol.com

The previous comment by Elayne Riggs is pretty damn silly...and I myself am extremely glad that she is the ONLY person on this post who is siding with Starbucks.

Legal laws are arbitrary. They are not, for instance, like the laws of physics. They dont really mean anything, and unlike natural physics, they would not even be here if it wasnt for humans thinking them up. Being that these laws are of such a nature, any logical person would be able to see past the concept of "law" and look objectively at the selfish idiocy going on here.

Why does a corporation have the right to take away someones own NAME? Samantha Buck. That is HER name. Keep in mind that her name is NOT Starbucks. It is Sam Buck. And she herself can do whatever the fuck she wants with her name. If people are stupid enough to not know the difference between a Starbucks Coffee and Sam Bucks Coffee (especially if they are 5 miles away from each other...) then that is not Samantha's problem. That is America's fault. For letting parents raise kids to grow up and be dumb enough not to observe the difference between one thing and another. Not to mention, Starbucks shouldn't even be talking about using names. It's not like Herman Melville started the first Starbucks Coffee. They completely ganked their name. Sam didn't steal her name.

There are Starbucks everywhere anyway, that's why people hate them so god damn much. Even here in Kalamazoo there's one. They just keep encroaching, like any other shitty company. How would Starbucks like it if I took up residence in the boardroom at their headquarters or something? I think I will. Look out, you guys, I've been told I kick in my sleep.


Funk Noka Norton

Starbucks is a warmongering machine 08.Aug.2002 09:25

Lance Freedom truesdale@hotmail.com

Starbucks sucks, its CEO sucks, and most importantly its coffee sucks. $5 for a cup of an at best lukewarm beverage which is known to contain cancer causing agents. I say we boycott Starbucks....tell all you know around the world.
Lets unite and fight...amen!

sambucks v. STARBUCKS 08.Aug.2002 11:04


First, laws are not SUPPOSED to be arbitrary, as someone tried pointing out. Laws are supposed to be enforced as written. However, continuing "judicial creep," otherwise known as legislation from the bench, continues to de-evolve this nation (and many others) from the rule of law to the rule of man. Laws that can be interpretted multiple ways should be thrown out under the "void for vagueness" doctrine. Case law that builds on judicial creep only goes further down the spiral. The argument that someone made goes like this: A company called Rielly's Farming decides not to trademark, because, hey, a lot of people have the name Rielly. Another company starts becoming big, and trademarks it's name -- O'Rielly's Widgets. O'Reilly's then start appearing in every population center. At the same time as this widget boom, Mr Rielly has invented some efficient farming equipment, and opens a store called Reilly's Gadgets. O'Rielly's sues saying that the names are too similar and Rielly's would be capitalizing on the O'Rielly's name. Does everyone see the absurdity in this? Now let's look at the instant case: sambuck's ,a small independently owned coffee shop, vs. Starbuck's, a multi-national corporation. A look at the name and logo should end the conversation. The sambucks logo in no way resembles the Starbucks logo, unlike a different case, which most people here will find amusing: http://dir.salon.com/business/feature/2000/06/01/starbuckssuit/index.html To learn about the trials and trevails of Charbucks, apparantly a deep-roasted coffee, go here: http://www.blackbearcoffee.com/ http://tess.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=akk551.4.7 The USPTO trademark applications made by Starbucks (that I viewed) has this tag: NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "COFFEE" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN

GO Sam! 08.Aug.2002 11:33


Good Luck, Sam. If I lived out there, I would certainly be a new customer of yours! I did what I could, and went to starbucks.com and left a nasty email. I hope the boycotts / emails work!!

Sam Lundberg 08.Aug.2002 11:41

Paul from Texas

I'm not a fan of Starbucks, but I can't help feeling that they are probably right in this instance. Unless Ms. Lundberg can tell me unequivacally that the smilarity of her name to Starbucks had no influence over her decision making process when she was considering names, i'll be inclined to believe that she knew or believed that the name she chose would potentially attract Starbucks customers.

Listen Sam! 08.Aug.2002 11:53

Ahsan Jafri whereisUmar1@hotmail.com

do not let star bucks win. it is these same multi-national corporations which brain wash, and control bodies and minds. it is these same multi-national corporations which push for and support the war on islam (i mean "terrorism") because islam forbids monopolies and interest bearing banking systems. your victory would mean a lot to the whole world.........you go girl! do not give up.

Sam Buck's 08.Aug.2002 12:11

From Paul of California

Regarding the Sam Buck's vs Starbuck's exchange. Is it surprising to anyone that Starbuck's apologist "Paul" is from Texas, land of corporate slime and our corporate crook President? They must raise a lot of these things down there.
Paul of California

Vote with your dollars -- BOYCOTT 08.Aug.2002 13:14

Rich Stoehr glassisland@hotmail.com

Since money is the only language Starbuck's will understand, then it is the language we must speak. I'll be boycotting their establishments until they drop this ridiculous lawsuit, and I'll be encouraging all of my friends to do the same. They'll also be receiving an e-mail from me shortly, and I doubt they'll like what it says.

Samantha Buck, if you're reading this... keep fighting the good fight! When a corporation thinks it owns your name and can force you out of using it, then they've gone too far. I sincerely believe that the legal system will be on your side here. Best of luck!

I found this story through Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World" website, by the way. Thank him for helping to spread the word!

You hang in there!! 08.Aug.2002 13:23


Nothing wrong with using your own name hun... they can go fly a kite!

You've gotta be kidding me 08.Aug.2002 13:45

Mark Bialkowski mbialkowski@rogers.coMAPSBLOCK

She uses her own name. Starbucks shows up a year later and thinks they have a monopoly on "*bucks Coffee". As long as she's not trying to appear like Starbucks and deceive people into thinking they're buying Starbucks coffee, there is no problem. The lawsuit seems anticompetitive, since Starbucks sure didn't complain *before* the franchise opened in town.

Seriously, if you can look at those pictures, and it's *not* obvious to you she isn't lifting Starbucks' trademark, your eyes are worse than mine (which are pretty bad).

I'm not a big fan of the current interpretation of intellectual property law, which seems to rely heavily on the Golden Rule - he who has the gold, makes the rules.

On top of all that, Starbucks' coffee is horrid. A friend bought me a cup once. It was disgusting.

Pick Your Battles (To Paul of California) 08.Aug.2002 14:07

Paul from Texas

Wow, for merely suggesting that Samantha Lundberg may have had an ulterior motive for using her own name for her coffee store you have attacked the entire state of Texas and all it's 30 million inhabitants. That seems unduly harsh don't you think. Maybe it was the coffee talking, perhaps you should cut back. Personally I don't know how ya'll drink all that coffee anyway. I'll stick to my iced tea. Good luck Samantha, whether your motives are pure or not you should be allowed to use whatever name you damn well please.

Have fun Sam 08.Aug.2002 14:31

dave campbellout@yahoo.co.uk

Sam the first thing that I would do is to make sure that my coffee is better than theirs. As most of us should know this is not hard to do. May I recommend FAIR TRADE COFFEE This is coffee where the little guy who grows it is being paid a fair amount for his coffee crop and not a slave for the profiteers. I would also have a highly publicized competition for a new legal name and once you have that supply your customers with optional star mucks knock off whilst in the store. On the coffee cup t-shirts etc. You could also have a ever changing logo or saying on a board readable from driver bys such as. "I AM SAM SAM I AM I DO NOT SELL GREEN COFFEE IN CANS" signs signs every where a sign do this don't do that cann't you read the sign.

All the best have fun with it treat your customers well and keep smiling
just another cog in the wheel dave

And now for something completely different... 08.Aug.2002 14:35


So when's the revolution? I was watching the TV Guide@ channel all day and I didn't see it listed...

TV Guide is a registered trademark of some big corporation.

P.S. Wake me when everyting is owned by the biggest brained smarty-pants ever to scale Darwin's evolutionary pyramid. I'll want to make sure he/she sees me acting impressed with their success. Hurrah! Go fascism! "Bankrupt 'em all, let God sort out all the small buisness people." etc. ad nausea.

STOP THE INSANITY 08.Aug.2002 15:00


well - this kind of thing always infuriates me - so hopefully every little bit will count....I just composed an email that I sent out to my buds and I'm hoping that they will send it to their friends..and so on and so on...I know we hate spam and internet hoax's but I want to get that Starbucks number out so people will call !!!!

Good Luck Sam !

coffee always 08.Aug.2002 15:00


Arabs love thier coffee and are very passionate about it. They spread thier passion for cofee far and wide though tade and commerce, now starsucks are selling thier lousy overpriced spiked cofee all over the midlle east.

Thier monotomous clones creep into neighbour hoods and like a plastic tree in a garden take away the freshness.

Coffee is more about who is serving, how is it being served and who is it being shared with. warmth,love and passion have never been part coporate vocabulary and never will be.

So from the land of the original coffee lovers GIVE em HELL SAM... U have more right to sell u're coffee than all corpscmucks put together.

Coffee always.
(coffee always- is a arabic greeting said when sharing coffee. It means may we always have cofee and meet(like now)

Go Sam! 08.Aug.2002 15:02

A different Paul

Sam--"Sambucks" is different than "Starbucks," period. If Starbucks feels threatened by you, offer to sell them your business name for a million--no, a hundred million dollars. Then they can do whatever they want with it. Is Starbucks run by little kids or something? I haven't heard this childish of a complaint since I reached the swingset first in elementary school.

Boycott Starbucks! 08.Aug.2002 15:03


They are ridiculously expensive anyway

Dr Evil Would Be Proud 08.Aug.2002 15:58


How ironic that Starbucks was taken over by Dr Evil in the fantasy of "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and then would actually resort to the strongarm tactics of an evil corporation in reality.

You can put this baby in your "Art Imitates Life" pipe and smoke it.

I, Scorpivs

"The details of my life are quite inconsequential."
Dr. Evil

I'm going SAMBUCKA your ass! 08.Aug.2002 18:38

The Judge Of All That Is Evil

Quote from above... i'll be inclined to believe that she knew or believed that the name she chose would potentially attract Starbucks customers, Well a case could me made that she chose the name as a play of words to both Starbucks and Sambuca logo. So she is double guilty!! Hang Samantha - the double wicked-witch! We wanna see blood! And God Bless America! T.M.

how pathetic 08.Aug.2002 19:15


Starbucks is afraid of a single coffee store in Oregon? What's up with that?
Somebody needs to get a life

Does Starbucks realize they'll probably lose more customers from this than if they let it alone?

re: the trademark law thread... 08.Aug.2002 19:32


Though Starbucks has the right to to defend the integrity of their trademark (even though the lawsuit is really frivolous), can the name "sambucks" be considered a legally valid parody and thus OK under fair use?

petition to boycott? 08.Aug.2002 21:03


Is anyone assembling a petition to boycott $tarbuck$? By the way, I live in TX, so we're not all evil.

Compromise? 08.Aug.2002 23:00

Coffee Lover

Frankly, although Sam Buck is her name, I do believe she used her name to play on the "Starbucks" name recognition. This is one of those times I am glad I am not a judge, :-). Changing her company name could be expensive enough to drive her out of business. Shame, isn't it? Perhaps Starbucks could pay that expense? That might be a reasonable compromise.

Although I love coffee, I do not patronize Starbucks, I think their coffee is not worth the outrageous prices they charge. Good Luck, Sam, hope you can get something out of this.

Remember what happened to McDonalds 08.Aug.2002 23:47

Tea Drinker

Starbucks might want to review the case in England where Ronald McDonald sicked his high priced corporate lawyers on a couple of peniless activists who were spreading leaflets around McDonalds restaurants which accused MickeyD of selling nutritionless, disease inducing, fat, salt and sugar laden garbage. Turned out that after a long drawn out court case which received lots of adverse publicity (for McDonalds) McDonalds technically got a verdict in their favor, but never collected any money.

Everyone seems to agree that the adverse publicity they got as the case dragged through the courts was a total balls up from a PR point of view and gave the activists a terific platform to promote the view that McDonalds food was high-fat garbage, unhealthy and environmentaly damaging.

In other words McDonalds won the court battle, but got soundly trounced in the PR war (notice how they are promoting salads, low-fat choices etc in their restaurants now).

Starbucks might want to read up on this case before deciding to put the squeeze on Sam.

Sam, you are a person made by the creator 09.Aug.2002 00:35

Semantic Deception

Notice: This email is not intended to replace "legal advice" This email is a suggestion towards a possible path only. All truely free people are solely responsible for their own actions.

You are entittled to use your name as you see fit.
IF you explore UCC codes You Will see this.

It will be difficult to prevail using our corrupt court system.

I have recently purchased "Cracking the Code edition 3" I am very pleased with the information provided.

You can view this information at www.bbcoa.com.

It is imperative for all of us to realize we are much further along the road to corporate serfdom than we know.

Sam's situation is just the tip of a monsterous iceberg.

Peace to All
God save the Constitution of the United States


Hey Sam you hang in there beatch 09.Aug.2002 02:09

Garth Napier-Jones

Hey Sam

You probably heard a bunch of people wishing you luck, but mine comes with a difference, I wish you luck, and I will happily accept free coffee beans for life should my good wishes result in you winning your legal battle.

Starbucks are really taking the piss with this one and I hope that you pull through you plucky little blighter.

Anyway, all the best, and remember, brush fresh, brush clean, all you need is denture cream.

All my love,

Garth Napier-Jones,
star of TV's "Watt On Earth"

Victims have won before 09.Aug.2002 03:44

Sandy Santra santra@mindspring.com

I just emailed Starbucks, telling them off. The whole thing is ridiculous. I also pointed out that Dolby Corporation (an audio company) sued Thomas Dolby (a musician) on similar grounds. Well, "Thomas Dolby" was REALLY his name. He fought back, and won.

It's great to read everyone's very sensible remarks on this board. Thanks!

OOOHHHH Ridiculous! 09.Aug.2002 06:26


Yeah, I actually dislike Starbuck's coffee anyway...it tastes like poorly mixed instant coffee. I's all gritty and shit and it's bitter too. YUCK!

When I visited LA earlier this year, we went to the local market area...and they had one in there. Which I found to be completely tasteless and out of place, I mean it's a "local" market.

Boycott? Absolutely.

Paul from Texas, you're right 09.Aug.2002 08:53

Paul of California

You're right, there are decent, progressive people everywhere, and we should do less name-calling among ourselves and "keep our eyes on the ball." We should expose corporate bullies like Starbuck's for what they are, including their hiding behind admirable causes. I was just pissed, but Texas has given us more than a fair share of political and corporate jerks recently. California, too...
Boycott Starbuck's! Support sites like Portland IndyMedia Center!

Drink tea! Tex Paul, you're right! 09.Aug.2002 09:11

Paul of California

I was just so pissed about Sam's struggle with a corporate bully, I lost my head. Progressives should emphasize exposing such cases as Sam's instead of engaging in name-calling. California certainly has its share of political and corporate jerks, but the real issue here is corporations and their mean, greedy behavior. Boycott Starbuck's! Drink tea, like Paul from Texas!

who dilutes who? 09.Aug.2002 10:13

Joe Hammons tunetown2@aol.com

If Sam was there a year before Star*uck's, who is diluting whose market?

I need help 09.Aug.2002 11:12

Sam Buck sambuckscoffeehouse@hotmail.com

I have been served a summons and need help. Varro (Curious IP Lawyer) I would like to get in contact with you. A local fundraiser is being organized to raise some money. I am in need of any kind of financial help and services. I have 20 days to respond to the summons. Any help for my legal defense fund would be greatly appreciated. Anyone can contact me at: sambuck's coffeehouse
1154 Commercial Street
Astoria, Oregon 97103
(503) 338-5459


1154 Commercial Street

*bucks 09.Aug.2002 13:22


I think Cthulhu has a good point, i.e. the name is obviously a parody of Starbucks, rather than an attempt to trade upon their reputation, and should be permissible. Some people have posted here taking the side of Starbucks because Sambucks is intentionally meant to sound like Starbucks. Obviously it is, but that is irrelevant unless the intent is to mislead and confuse consumers. Now, if Sam buys cheap coffee beans, roasts them so dark that you can't tell if it is coffee at all or just very small charcoal briquetttes, brews it thick enough that you could stain furniture with it, and sells it at a 300% markup, then Starbucks might have a case.

BTW, whoever posted railling about the evil caffeine companies doping us all so that we are more productive should lay off the crack. I just drank three cups of strong cofee and I'm sitting here at work reading weblogs. Take a lot more than caffeine to make me productive.


Christopher (Critto) critto@wp.pl

well, Sam, now you are not only nationwide (American), but INTERNATIONAL !!! I write from another side of the (Atlantic) ocean, from Free City of Gdask/Danzig, now occupied by the 3rd Republic of Poland. We have no Star*ucks restaurant yet, but should they open up, I will BOYCOTT them (and do the same in the other city/country, where they have star*ucks). And of course, I'm going to e-mail the company to let them know, that they are being WATCHED from both sides of the Atlantic.

anyway, if it helps: Lindows.com has WON a case started against them by Micro$oft for the alleged 'confusion' of the name "Lindows" with "Windows". I don't know any link to the article, sorry (but surely you'll find something in English on www.wired.com, and I've came across this info at 7thguard.net, which is in Polish only). AFAIK, USA has the caselaw system, so if Lindows.com won, there case against Sambuck's should be stopped before it's started, but -- as I should say -- I am NOT a lawyer, nor know I American legal system well.

DOWN WITH THE CORPORATIONS, which are perverting the free market into some kind of feudalism !!! it's as in the case against RIAA and MPAA: LET'S BOYCOTT THEM !!! LET'S MAKE IT WITH LOUD (and wide) PUBLICITY !!! "ON'T BUY their products" equals "DON'T EMPOWER THEM with the weapons that will be used against you". They are helpless without your money.

PS. *=f

PS.1. I'm all for FREE market, where any individual or entity is able to act, not the 'FREE' pseudo-market of the BIG corporations which pervert the sense of the name, and tend to have the mind control over consumers.
PS.2. Sorry for any language mistakes ... You know, English is NOT my mother tongue ... :((

Kicked the habit 09.Aug.2002 14:51

Jay from Texas jburdette@rciti.com

I've been a Starbucks customer for the last 5 years...almost every day, often twice a day. I just got off the phone with Starbucks customer care, telling them that they've lost my business over this. Of course, they have a standard script to read regarding these calls...the clueless $6/hr brainchild I spoke with sounded almost like a recording while he was reading it.

I think I'll just stick to my homemade coffee...if I want a frappuccino, I've got ice, milk, a blender, and chocolate syrup. Unless, of course, they're gonna sue me for stealing one of their product ideas.

And another note...if you want the best coffee in Seattle, check out Tully's. They have the same drinks as Starbucks at cheaper prices, and it's made with better coffee. The staff there are more friendly and helpful, and they don't look at you funny when you ask for two quads.

Perpetually buzzing,

Jay in San Antonio


Free market? 09.Aug.2002 20:26


An interesting article, but I could do without the ignorant claim that this outrage is "free market capitalism". There is nothing "free" or "capitalistic" about this. To claim such unknowingly is to display the literacy of a three year old. To claim such knowingly is to twist the very meanings of the words used, like something out of 1984. The definition of a "free market" is one in which the right to one's own just property is held inviolable by all. "Capitalism" is peaceful competition, winning the favor of the consumers by offering them the finest service possible. Clearly, this situation fits neither definition. Starbucks has the ear of the government, which is all too willing to use force (or the threat of force) to convince Sam to see things their way. Without the government standing ready to kick ass for anyone with $. Wise up. If it wasn't for the goddamn feds, Starbucks would be sitting on their thumbs.

Clarification 09.Aug.2002 21:55

Devil's advocate

To the guy who said Madonna's real name isn't Madonna.

Q. Is Madonna really her true name?
Yes, Madonna was named after her mother - Madonna Fortin. Her full birth name is 'Madonna Louise Ciccone'.


Q. How is Ciccone pronounced?


Q. Isn't Veronica part of her name? I've notice she puts the initials ML(V)C on some things.
Not technically. Madonna was raised Catholic and picked Veronica as her confirmation name.

- http://www.001pic.com/Madonna/faq.html

they call it the free market... 10.Aug.2002 04:54


Dear Samantha,

all the best to you from Italy! Fight for your right!

GO SAM GO! 10.Aug.2002 14:05

R. Burns

Go Sam! Go! Tell Starbucks to worry about something more important! Fight the good fight!

How dumb do they think the public is? 10.Aug.2002 18:15

John Small Berries

"...because they claimed it was causing confusion for Starbucks customers who might be led to believe they were patronizing a Starbucks® store when in fact, they were going into Sam Bucks." This is truly insulting. Do they honestly expect anyone to believe that people are wandering around like morons, unable to differentiate between the syllables "Sam" and "Star"? The logos are distinctly different, so it's not like she was going out of her way to make people think it's a Starbuck's. But apparently, they think the public is simply too stupid to be able to tell the difference. (I wonder, if the Battlestar Galactica remake ever sees the light of day, will they be suing Glen A. Larson for the character named "Starbuck"?)

Grover's Mill, NJ

Sam Buck's it is... 11.Aug.2002 20:07

Brian Petro bpetro1212@aol.com

Just wanted to throw my support in of being able to use your own name without having to worry some corporation will say it is illegal. I think that corporations are going too far in protecting their marks from use. People should not have to worry about using their own name for their company.

I was not a big fan of Starbucks before, and I am less of one now. If I am ever in the area, I would love to drop in...

Dayton, OH

Protest Starbucks in Portland, Friday Aug. 16 12.Aug.2002 00:54

Friends of Samantha, SE Portland Chapter fellowtraveler@riseup.net

Mark your calendar: This Friday, August 16, there will be a protest outside the Starbucks in Pioneer Courthouse Square to show solidarity with Samantha Buck of Astoria.

Full details here:

Galactica vs. Corporate Coffee Monster 12.Aug.2002 13:39


The cheesy 70's sci fi show Battlestar Galactica had a character named Starbuck, played by Dirk Bennedict, I think. Couldn't the coffee giant be sued for copyright infringment? Melville's Moby Dick is part of the public domain, but the character of Starbuck is still property of Universal Studios I think.

Next, they'll go after Starbucks with Buck Rogers, since it has Buck in it. Or what about using the slang term buck for a dollar? Couldn't the 1-800-COLLECT people that have the "save a buck or two" have a beef, since customers are so dense they might confuse the 800 number with coffee?

Someday, in the future we may all need lawyers just to speak English since everyword could potentially be a trademark infringement.(tm) Pure ridiculousness, hope Sam gets millions in a settlement. Go Sambucks!!!

You can beat 'em! It has been done 12.Aug.2002 22:59

David Giesbrecht darthmung@shaw.ca

Sam's story reminds me of another that took place in Winnipeg, MB Canada about 10-12 years ago. 'The Brick', a big corporate retail chain furniture store started setting up shop in the city. Well, there was a furniture store called 'Brick's Fine Furniture' that had been in the city for decade's. Brick was that owner's last name.

To make a long story short, 'The Brick' tried the same crap that Sam's going through, and THEY LOST! It really is simple bullshit to let pricks like these get away with bully monopoly tactics.

Just goes to show you that there is hope!

It's not the first time... 13.Aug.2002 13:44

Dave K nomopomo28@yahoo.com

Several years ago, Dolby Laboratories (of Dolby Noise Reduction fame) tried to stop musician Thomas Dolby (of "She Blinded Me With Science" fame) from using the name Dolby. The legal action was unsuccessful (most of you figured that out already)--my understanding was that you could not prevent a person from using their legal name in such a situation...

Granted, Sam Buck's situation is not identical, but it seems there are some legal precedents...

It's not the first time... 13.Aug.2002 13:45

Kate Davis nomopomo28@yahoo.com

Several years ago, Dolby Laboratories (of Dolby Noise Reduction fame) tried to stop musician Thomas Dolby (of "She Blinded Me With Science" fame) from using the name Dolby. The legal action was unsuccessful (most of you figured that out already)--my understanding was that you could not prevent a person from using their legal name in such a situation...

Granted, Sam Buck's situation is not identical, but it seems there are some legal precedents...

Shareholders, hmm? 14.Aug.2002 11:32


If they're so concerned about upholding the best interest of their shareholders (the majority of which are Starbucks employees), what's to say that dossier of information about this sordid affair can't be sent to some of those shareholders? I wouldn't be surprised if some of them had a heart.

what are they afraid of? 15.Aug.2002 12:02

Ann Huntwork huntworkannbruce2001@yahoo.com

It would be laughable if it wasn't such a pain for Samantha and others like her. I think Starbucks has enough business to carry them and if customers can't tell the difference (too sleepy to read the sign right??) - maybe they should just try her coffee.
My message to them would be "Get a Life".
I'm sorry not to have money to contribute to Samantha but I will surely patronize her place if I get to Astoria - in fact it would be worth going up the next time I go to the Central Coast. I will follow this with interest and try to get to related local actions. In this time of such violence and sadness in our world it's hard to believe we still have to deal with stuff like this!

301 NE Monroe Port;land 97212

A bunch of Maroons 15.Aug.2002 21:25

Flatbush Escapee

This reminds me of when the Marx Brothers announced that their next movie was to be titled "A Night In Casablanca".

Warner Bros. threatened to sue if the title was not changed. Groucho remarked: "I'm sure having Casablanca in the title would not be a problem. I think the average movie goer is smart enough to tell the difference between Ingrid Berman and Harpo."

I guess Starbucks figures it's customers are too dumb to notice the difference between the two names.

Go get 'em Samantha!

Sipping on a Dunkin' Donuts Coffee 16.Aug.2002 09:07

Brassed Off in Boston

I'm sending a link to this story to everyone I know, and will both email and call Starbucks to say that until they drop this ridiculous suit, I won't drink a drop.

How ridiculous!

Bye Bye Starbucks,... 16.Aug.2002 10:59


Well Starbucks,..the next time you see my walent will be at another coffee stand. My friends & I go every
morning just like clock work. We are now looking else where.


Next time I'm in Astoria, will drop by and get a nice Latte from ya!
Best regards,

Seattle, Washington

Astoria Coffee War 16.Aug.2002 12:10

Jeannie Henke jmghenke@attbi.com

After being handed a pamphlet by a friendly picketer in front of the Starbuck's in Pioneer Square Portland this morning I chose not to have my morning Grande Cafe' Mocha. I read the pamphlet, continued on to work and shared it with my co-workers who inturn also decided to go out to coffee at the little "coffee shop" on the corner instead.
I am fully discusted that a multi-million dollar corporation like Starbucks would even consider 'picking' on Sam Bucks. Shame on them. I believe she could win the battle...don't give up!
no longer a Starbuck's Customer....
Jeannie Henke
Hillsboro, OR

Hillsboro, Oregon

Sympathetic Barista 16.Aug.2002 23:37

Jilli nytesenvy@aol.com

Well, lets see where to start. First off I would like to say that I think that small buissness is one wonderful thing that we don't see often enough in America. I certainly see little of it when I drive through my town. All the big names included, target, walgreens, walmart, meijer ( a midwest grocery/ one stop shopping phenomenon), and of course we have about 5 different Starbucks in town. In fact, I work for one about three minutes from my house. ( hence the "Barista" in the title...).

Now, I've worked for Starbucks for over a year, and I know the ins and outs of our marketing theories and add campaignes. I know how they draw in customers and keep a steady clientel. And I also know entierly too much about coffee. And being there and having experianced this, even after having been a patron of the company for several years, I have found myself defending it and some of it's actions to many of my friends, and occasionally customers. Why? Because I care about my employer and my employer cares about me. Now, I have to say I do not agree with the attacking of small businesses, but along the same line, I'm quite tired of people attacking Starbucks like it's just another faceless coperation out for nothing but their bottom line.

Starbucks, despite how cliche this is about to sound, really does care. When September 11th happend, Starbucks was the very first corperation to donate anything to the cause, and they also opened a fund to allow their customers to donate. They provide a respectible part time(or full time) work enviornment that pays more than minimum wage, so that their emploees can actually live off of their job without constantly haveing to supplement their earnings. They provide full medical and dental coverage to all employees who work 20 hours minimum a week. Starbucks has special purchase agreements with farmers in Mexico to grow organic coffee completely in the shade, so that the enviornment doesn't have to be destroyed in order to allow these farmers to earn their lively hood( Shade Grown Mexico beans). Also, Starbucks has another purchase agreement called "Fair Trade" In which they garuntee the farmers a certain price every year no matter the crop, and more on top of the origional amount if it is a successful year. I think these actions hardly represent the facade of a cold and heartless corperation, although that is entierly my oppinion.

In then end I, guess I hope that Sam wins her case, the liberal in me always likes to see small business triumph, but I also hope that all those readers out there who are maliciously slandering a company they hardly know anything about, calling for protests and boycots, will also stop to think about what they're saying. Starbucks is not just some coperation that's out for the biggest profit line. Its a rareity this day in age to find a business with the approach to functioning like the one that Starbucks has. If you want further clarification, I suggest reading the book "Pour your heart into It", a mantra which I whole heartedly wish that more businesses would take seriously.

Along the same lines, Starbucks should remeber where it started, 6 small stores in Seattle. If it can't rember that and thus support small business, then it's lost the very perspective that i've always thought that made it great. Best of luck to you Sam, although if you want to have enough money to keep you're shop I'd strongly recoment a compromise, it may be a nice coperation but it still has a very large and very deep pocket to draw from. Thanks for listening


As if paying JUST wages to employees is some. 18.Aug.2002 01:02

The Judge Of All That Is Evil

..thing to brag about!

<b>Best of luck to you Sam, although if you want to have enough money to keep you're shop <i>I'd strongly recomend a compromise</i>, it may be a nice coperation but it still has a very large and very deep pocket to draw from. Thanks for listening</b>

Accept these words at your own peril... Sounds like a lawyer or PR person.

Who are you to <b>strongly</b> recomend anything?

both sides i take 19.Aug.2002 00:38

ryan trask ryantrask2024@hotmail.com

the garden-variety idiot would not be able to distinguish the two shops, they're five miles flippin' apart anyway. i love starbucks coffee but i think that this is silly. they'll lose local business on this one (if it's a franchise it'll probably go under). they're still everyone else, and they have an obligation to their shareholders to make money (just as much as they have an obligation to the customer.) perhaps then, if it would make any difference to their profit margin, or if they wanted to save money and drop the suit, they should let it go... nobody should support the garden-variety idiot anyway. better to get them out of the gene pool.

Bitter Stomach 20.Aug.2002 19:13

Lost My Appetite

This is disgusting.

I was going to have an Espresso Frappucino.

I think I am going to pass now.

Many Like Me... 26.Aug.2002 12:12

American Girl

Many like me, get up, go to work and drink coffee. Social activism, riotous protesting, and petty battles against large multi-million dollar corporations all seem to me to be a waste of time. I tell you people out there who think your boycotting is going to make a bit of a difference to get a life. Go to work, go to school, read a book. Do something with your energy that might actually make a difference.

Yikes -- Brainwashed Employees 27.Aug.2002 19:51


<Because I care about my employer and my employer cares about me>

You're in for a very rude awakening. You're simply a number to your employer. Call HQ and ask them about who you are and what you mean to them...

Sambuck's Coffeehouse 27.Aug.2002 22:40

Q madp q@danceportland.com

 http://www.sambuckscoffeehouse.com will be online within 24 hours. Any of you that have posted articles and photos about Sambuck's Coffeehouse vs the bully, please feel free to e-mail me copies to post on the website.

PO Box 86888, Portland OR 97286-0888

STRANGE IDDNIT? 28.Aug.2002 17:18

Victor Landa

There must be a better way to use pent-up, coffee induced energy. Does it really matter?
Listen, everybody's selling something and everyone else is buying. Ideas, attitudes, formulas, lifestyles, suggestions. We either pay with money, or time, attention, anger, angst, hapiness, agreement.
Let's take this to the extreme....say anti-corporate sentiment finally takes over the entire globe, to the point that you are no longer permitted to join forces with anyone else, for any reason, for fear that the evil spectre of corporate mentality will once again live.
Aren't we just swiching one tunnel mentality for another?
Anyway, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Any press is good press. I wonder if Sambucks sales have gone up since this war against the corporate giant began.

Starbucks flexing its muscles in England 29.Aug.2002 09:14

Mr S Tarbuck

Over the last couple of years overpriced coffee shops have popped up all over England like a Mcdonalds junk food rash.

Nominet UK finds in favour or big corp. coffee shop with
generic name: STARBUCKS


Was the name plagiarized from Herman Melvilles Moby Dick ?

Change the name and move on 04.Sep.2002 03:15


Seems to me that you are going to be changing that OBVIOUS copy of a name, very soon! As a stockholder in STARBUCKS COFFEE, I resent what you are doing and will not tollerate an obvious diluting of the STARBUCKS brand. Little Astoria Coffee Co. may be better for you..."a small time player in the coffee business." Heck, that can even be your motto! Go grind some decaf.

Trevor forgot to mention 04.Sep.2002 16:15

Troy Prouty

He actually works for Starbucks and used the saying that
his boss told him to say. Isn't that right Trevor !!

FYI - This is one of Starbucks customer service reps.

Maybe we should call about him and demand him being fired !

RE: Sympathetic Barista 07.Sep.2002 10:04


I read your comment about STARBUCKS setting up a fund for THEIR CUSTOMERS to donate!! What about STARBUCKS DONATION???
On Sept, 11 STARBUCKS charged $3.00 for a bottle of water to those people directly involved in the TRADGEDY just blocks from where the twin towers stood!!!! Look that one up! SAM KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

This is very similar to the Lindows vs. Windows case 12.Jun.2003 13:05

Elliott Martin

I heard about this the other day from a friend, and it reminds me a lot of the whole Microsoft vs. Lindows thing. Microsoft tried to get the courts to change the name of Lindows, which is a linux distribution that looks a lot like Windows, and after a lot of bad noise Microsoft finally went home with its' tail between its' legs, so as long as these guys get a half decent lawyer that's heard of that case it should be thrown out.

gogogo 27.Oct.2003 16:46


you started your business under your name you shouldn't be punished you we're there first

hmmm, SamBucks isn't educated? 30.Oct.2003 01:11

Silly serious girl

I'm a bleeding heart pink liberal but this story is so one sided even I get stopped in my tracks! Now, are we really supposed to believe that the lovely and intelligent Ms.Bucks had NO idea how "cute" and creative she was being when she named her store "Sambucks" ? PLEASE, SPARE US! And, give us all a little credit for not being complete idiots. This story sticks in my craw like a badly made drink (Which most likely came from Gl*ri* *ean'* but let's not even START that thread!)

Starbuck - Moonlight Feels Right 09.Jan.2004 21:05

Bruce Blackman starbuck@moonlightfeelsright.com

Interesting issue. I wrote the song "Moonlight Feels Right" and recorded it with my band Starbuck. I started the band in 1970 (long before Starbucks coffee). I freely use the name Starbuck now as we have had records, tapes and CDs on the market since 1970. It bothers me that Starbucks coffee uses my name.

Sambuck's Coffee House Still Alive www.SamBucksCoffeeHouse.com 16.Jan.2004 21:36

Q Madp q@blazerssuck.com

I hope that all the small coffee shops hang in there.
It's amazing that pathetic starbucks doesn't claim all rights to the word coffee.
They use their money to abuse people and slap around small businesses until they run out of money to defend themselves or get scared and leave.
We need to support all small businesses and help keep them alive. This world will become very dull with only 3 or 4 companies running it all.
Recently starbucks has muscled its way into Paris, what a shame. Paris will not be the same.
These are just my opinions.



starbucks does not have a choice 05.Feb.2004 03:17

anyone U.S.A

Starbucks does not have a choice to go after anyone using anything close to there name, blame it on the the lawmakers. If they do not go after everyone that comes close to their name, they can lose the rights to there name. I agree the corporations are going overboard, just like microsoft with the canadian teenager, but they have to to protect their name. Just like Sam Bucks coffee would do, and most of you, if you had a company. I mean would you want someone that used a name that confused you with them. It is just the way it is. Joe McDonald could not open a hamburger joint named McDonalds just because that is his last name. Just like I could not open a business because I have a last name that is like another business, even though that is the business I am in. But I still say keep the fight up Sam otherwise we may never get anything changed. And the only way to get it changed is to bitch to the lawmakers, vote them out, till we can get some decent people for the people in there.

Just my opinion 06.Feb.2004 02:50

does it matter no one looks here

I just can not belive that you would name your shop SamBucks if StarBucks was not around to give you some recognition. That is the only reason that you named it after your maiden name. Otherwise I doubt you would even give your maiden name a second thought. Otherwise you would not have your marriage name still. So give it up you know you are in the wrong, just like I would be if I had the name Mac Dondald and wanted to open a hamburger joint under that name. All I can say is I will not give you my money or the real starbucks my money just to sell me a legal form of speed to help me get along with my day. Get off your lazy ass and enjoy your 15 minutes of fame and name it after the name that you go by. But wait that dont sound like YOU can make any money off that name. YOU would rather make money off the name of a big business and take donations to fight them. And anyone that sends you money or stops by your shop is just as blind to think that you only did it without thinking about starbucks at the time and how many people may come in because of the name. You are pathetic.
pathetic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (p-thtk) also pathetical (--kl)
Arousing or capable of arousing sympathetic sadness and compassion

Just another opinion 18.Jun.2004 23:09


Sheesh dude, lighten up. Starbucks was nowhere near Astoria where Sam opened her shop. The Buck family has been long in the history of Astoria, and frankly, it was just plain funny for her to open Sam Bucks Coffee House - pretty much all the locals knew damn well that Sam Bucks really was a coffee house run by Sam Buck, and surely had a gut-busting laugh when she did. To use her married name as the name of her coffee house would lead people to believe she was peddling Swedish Meatballs and lutefisk, not to mention that they might have trouble pronouncing it.. then there'd be the trouble of incorporating all those letters into a logo .... no dude, it just wouldn't work. Sorry Kirk... no offense.

How about you take that self-righteous indignation and go after Starbucks, who plagiarized the name from Melville's Moby Dick? Seems to me that's a much more worthy fight than attacking someone for using their *own* name. And, if you win a suit against them, perhaps you can seek counseling and meds for that attitude of yours...

sambucks is funny 11.Jul.2004 15:55


OMG hasnt the world gone screwy when u cant even have a parody of your own name and a well known brand without getting sued.

I am sure Sam knew of Starbucks, and hence came up with the name as a bit of humor based on the fact that her name was Sam Buck, and she was opening a coffee house. But for Starbucks to sue her for some humor, that is sad. No wonder everyone is so uptight these days, we arent allowed to have a laugh @ our own expense, cause some giant corporation will sue us for it.

In Australia, Burger King couldnt use its name becasue a Sydney based small burger bar was called Burger King - this was back in the early 80's when corporations didnt rule the world, and everyone had a fair say. So instead of suing, they called themselves hungry jacks in Australia - same looking logo, just different name.

I think Sam should sue Starbucks for opening in her town, and confusing her patrons as to which store to go to.

Good luck Sam.

Everyone else - have a laugh, it makes all the difference.

Just had to say goodbuy to Starbucks one last time. 25.Jul.2004 10:06

I love coffee

Hey just a note to say I email starbucks with warm goodbuys, don't give up the fight Sam. Could we start a fund to get Sam a lawyer? Dave.

Bigbux 14.Oct.2004 02:49

Anna Moss

Dave she has a very good lawyer, Kurt Rylander out of Vancouver, Washington. Sounds like she is getting the best of Starbucks. It looks like she is going to trial within the next 6 months.

Rights 14.Nov.2004 03:29

Owner of business

This is the owner of The Green Door in Las Vegas, a premier on-site swingers club, the largest in the country with 18000 sq ft. A portion of our club includes a cafe in which we named the Starfucks Cafe and Espresso Bar. We currently also own an adult webcam site including live video chat named www.starfucksgirls.com We recently received the typical "scared straight" notification from Starbucks, a "cease and desist" letter similar to the one you had received. I am thankful of learning that you are in a similar suit in which we will fight for our rights! Any response would be appreciated! Send responses to webmaster@greendoorlasvegas.com

STARSUCKS 02.Dec.2005 09:46


Just saw your story on CNBC! Hang in there kid. We are all with you.

I am stary appalled and bucking what I am reading 02.Dec.2005 10:14

Paula iadorethelord@yahoo.com

How utterly ridiculous.
I am now convinced that I no longer want to patronize
this retail company.
This company has had several negative fruits coming forth with
me and my family in this past year. I am now made aware of this
woman being attacked.Which has compacted my decision to boycot this

Boycott Starbucks 03.Dec.2005 07:57

anon from Ithaca NY

We should really all boycott Starbucks and do mail orders
from Sam Buck. Starbucks should lose far more than it can
gain by pulling this nasty stunt. What really bothers me is
that the courts just back the guy w/the bigger budget. That's

Give Star Bucks a New Name 03.Dec.2005 17:03

How About Star Sux

I heard the news about the lawsuit decision on KZOK radio in Seattle. I could not believe it! So, I am I emailed Star Bucks and let them know I am no longer a customer, and that I will be encouraging my friends and colleagues to do the same. I encourage everyone to email and fax and write letters to thier corporate officers and management, and repeat the message efforts as much as possible. I have read most of the above posts and was impressed that even a former or currrent barista from Star Bucks submitted comments. The bottom line is that Star Bucks is not behaving in a responsible manner as a business.

Dropping the biggest coffee company in the world! 05.Dec.2005 07:04

Gary Hoskins/Edmonds

Samatha, What I emailed Starbucks; Proud that we lived in the same city, my family, were huge supporters of Starbucks. And I realize that we are small potatoes, in the big picture. But I cannot, stand proudly when a larger company bully's a smaller company. What you are doing to Samantha Bucks in Astoria, OR. Is nothing short of an upper classmen beating up a lower classmen. Are you that insecure? You purchased your name she was born with hers! I wouldn't blow this off. As many of us, in the world are taking note of an idiot in a certain Whitehouse in Washington. Many of us will take note of an idiot move done by this company in Washington State.

Starbucks the Walmart of the Coffee World 06.Dec.2005 15:09

Jim in Oregon jimnic97045@mail.com

A note I sent to Starbucks! I can't believe what you are doing to this lady who owns the coffee shop in Astoria. Have you folks simply lost touch with reality. What were you thinking? Obviously your weren't. You have totally lost a sense of corporate responsibility. To claim you are protecting your investors and your brand is simply ludicrous. You need to rethink your position, however I imagined you feel it's too late for that. I have informed my broker to get rid of any Starbuck's stock or any mutual fund which has purchased it. I have also told all my colleagues and have sent a note to my hundreds of clients. I think you will lose far more than you will gain in this endeavor and I will do whatever I can to make sure everyone knows what you are doing. You should be ashamed of yourselves!!!!! Everyone spread the word and make sure Starbucks feels some pain! WOW I admire what you have been doing Sam!

NEVER AGAIN 07.Dec.2005 10:33

STERLING sgrant3@yahoo.com

Sorry to hear that you have to change your name. It's sad to see a corporation hassle and run over hard working independent business owners. From this day forward I will never set foot into a Starbucks. They at least won't be getting any more money out of me.

Starbox 07.Dec.2005 11:04

Brett Shulhan

...there are thoes who ride on coat tails and there are thoes who have no need to.

hi 10.Dec.2005 21:53


This simply pisses me off in so many ways. I dont care if Sam was being cute or she knew wat she was doing. I think its a GREAT thing to push the envelope. We cant give up in on all these damn corporations. I hate em hate em with a passion. STOP BUYING STARBUCKS WALMART YES WALMART TOO ALL THESE MONEY SUCKING $%&# $&#**# &#&$^*(((# BUY LOCAL FROM THE LITTLE GUYS

Stick it to the Man !! 05.Jan.2006 19:15

ugogirl Borgosz@aol.com

Only in America would this be allowed to happen. This great country stands for many things, however, FREEDOM for the small business owner to open a business under her own name is not protected from the power held by Corporate America. I will no longer patronize Starbucks. I hope the publicity Sam has received from this fight has brought her more business. Roll on Samantha !!

Outcome? 28.Dec.2013 12:52


After over ten years, does anyone know the outcome of this situation? Frankly, it should not have happened in the first place. I do hope that Sam Buck was allowed to use her own name, for goodness' sake...

Also, was that really Garth Napier-Jones? If so, I am in awe.