"That's my hope. That will be easier on my wallet, it's a big burden," she said. "We're a start-up business – a dog business. We're not selling lattes."
McCarthy-Grzybek still wonders how the global coffee chain even found out about her business. Even more so, she said, of all the other "Starbarks" businesses in America, why hers? Prior to naming the doggie day care, she had made phone calls to the other businesses sharing the "Starbarks" name to inquire whether they had experienced woes with the corporate coffeehouse. She didn't come across any negative feedback.
A Google search revealed a few other "Starbarks" throughout the United States. Pet grooming is offered at both "Star Barks" venues in Bethel, Conn., and Ellsworth, Kan., while the one in Memphis trolls the streets as a mobile pet spa.
But in Phoenix, pet rescue lodge Canine Village is proof that not everyone has gone unscathed. The first hit when "Starbarks" is Googled into the search bar directs people to their old web site, where a disclaimer reads "Due to a conflict with a very famous coffee company our previous name (which we cannot mention) had to be changed to Canine Village only."
Founder Janet Cole said the "aggravation" of fighting in court wouldn't be worth it and that she was planning to change the name anyway. Cole had originally contacted Starbucks' public relations department in 2005 seeking permission to use the name "Starbarks"; once she got the green light, Starbarks Canine Village opened in 2006 and it wasn't until last year that she began to receive "incessant emails" and was "inundated with letters" from the firm. However, Cole said she never received a certified letter or a phone call.
"I have no idea what my tiny rescue has to do with coffee," Cole said. Referring to all the other businesses sharing the name "Starbarks," she added, "All of us put together, we are so small in comparison. How are we hurting them?"
This isn't the first battle over business names. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of beauty and women's wear retail company Victoria's Secret back in 1998 against Victor and Cathy Moseley over their Kentucky lingerie and adult novelty store "Victor's Secret." More recently, French luxury goods designer LVMH">Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy sued dog toy and accessory company Haute Diggity Dog over a line of "Chewy Vuiton" canine products with a design that resembled the popular label.