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Opportunity: Million Bucks or Starbucks?

Home < Newsletters < Summer 2006

Starbucks Coffee Shanghai Starbucks Coffee Shanghai

Xing Ba Ke - Starbucks

Starbucks opened its first cafe in China in 1999. Xing Ba Ke is the name used in Chinese. Xing, pronounced shing, means star, and Ba Ke, or bah kuh, sounds like the English word bucks.

In 2001, China introduced new laws to give both Chinese and international companies greater protection for their trademarks.

In December 2003, Starbucks sued Shanghai Xingbake for imitating Starbuck's name and logo. The Shanghai coffee house argued that it had registered its name in 2000, before Starbucks applied for its own Chinese trademark. However, Starbucks insisted that it had registered its name and logo in 1996.

In September 2005, Starbucks announced a $5 million fund to promote education in China. The fund is part of the company's efforts to raise its profile in a market it hopes will be its second largest after the United States.

On December 31, 2005, Starbucks won its name dispute in China. A Shanghai court ordered Shanghai Xingbake to pay damages and stop using the Chinese name used by Starbucks, ruling it had engaged in "illegitimate competition."

Register your trademarks early and register your Chinese name even if you do not plan to use it right away.

Go to Chinese Name for Mary Lou Heiss >>
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