April 06, 2005

Starbucks Delocator

Starbucks Delocator seems to be a website aimed at damaging Starbucks' interests and promoting "independent" cafés.

Starbucks was not amused and asked them to refrain from using their trademark in the name of the Starbucks Delocator project.

They actually might have a point. The Starbucks Delocator is selling merchandise and might therefore not qualify as non-commercial use.

So now people are supposed to link to the Starbucks Delocator site with the name "Starbucks Delocator" in the link, so as to push it in the vicinity of "Starbucks" on Google.

Assume that happens. Starbucks Delocator links popping up everywhere. Is there anything the trademark holder could do against this kind of routing around the requirement of "non-commercial" use?

I can't see any effective measure, which seems to be only fair. Trademark law regulates the name you can use when addressing the public, not the name the public can use when addressing you.

So probably Starbucks should be just happy with the free publicity this creates for them.

And maybe buy an ad on the Starbucks Delocator site.

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Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at April 6, 2005 11:15 AM