Starbucks Sues Indian Coffee Chain SardarBuksh for Copyright Infringement
They were kinda asking for it
If you say it to yourself really quickly, you can sort of see where they’re coming from. Actually, you get virtually the same result if you say it to yourself slowly, too…
An Indian coffee chain in New Delhi called “SardarBuksh” was recently sued by Starbucks for copyright infringement after allegedly ripping off the name, but its iconic logo too.
“Such imitators have limited ambition and they enjoy their moment of limelight of having ambushed an iconic brand in India,” said branding consultant Harish Bijoor in an interview for LiveMint.com.
The shop’s green and black logo features the outline of a bearded man in a turban encircled by the name “SardarBuksh Coffee & Co.”—a little too close to Starbucks’s sexy mermaid in the eyes if the American franchise.
This certainly isn’t the first (or second) time the coffee giant has sued an under-the-radar chain for copyright infringement, notably going after canine day care center outside Chicago, called—wait for it—"Starbarks."
Though SardarBuksh founder Sanmeet Singh Kalra says he has no plans to change the logo, all 25 SardarBuksh stores in India will, by law, change their name to the far less offensive “Sardarji-Bakhsh” within two months to avoid further complications from the multi-billion dollar company.
When asked to weigh in on the controversy and diagnose the problem himself, Sanmeet Singh Kalra offered this pearl of wisdom: "Our name rhymed with Starbucks, which is why the court has ruled [on Thursday] in their favour.” Yes, that is exactly why you’re in this pickle, Sanmeet.