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What’s in name? A bark may bite

Starbarks has gone to the dogs.

The Algonquin business formerly known as Starbarks Dog Daycare, has changed its name to The Dog Place.

The change came after threats of legal action from coffee giant Starbucks.

In April 2012, Starbarks received a letter from Starbucks attorneys demanding Starbarks cease and desist use of the term Starbarks as a business name, amend the Starbarks Dog Inc. entity name with the state of Illinois, discontinue use of the domain name StarbarksDog.com, and cease and desist all use of the current Starbarks logo.

The letter from Starbucks stated that use of Starbucks trademarks “is likely to cause confusion among consumers, who may mistakenly assume that Starbarks is authorized by or affiliated with Starbucks Corporation.”

Andrea McCarthy-Grzybek, owner of Starbarks , which opened in March 2012, responded to the request by offering to change the background of the logo to yellow and the stars – which, similar to the Starbucks logo, are at either side of the circular emblem – to paws.  She said the offer was declined.

“I’ve never had anyone come in here and ask for a cup of coffee,” she said at the time.

But Starbucks was persistent.

“Starbucks kept calling, wanting to know when we were going to change the name,” McCarthy-Grzybek said last week.

And earlier this year, she finally changed the name.

A notice on the old website reads, “We had to change our name due to conflict with another corporation. Our new name is The Dog Place. Our name may have changed, but we still remain the same loving dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility. “

The new website is www.the-dogplace.com.

“It was just a cute name. Just a play off name,” McCarthy-Grzybek said of Starbarks. “It wasn’t meant to bend anybody’s noses.”

How did she come up with the name The Dog Place? “Whenever I’m leaving for work, I’d always say, “I’m going to the dog place. It stuck. And it’s generic.”

Andrea estimated the name change cost her about $12,000, which included a new website, sign and marketing materials. Its new logo contains a clever profile of a dog’s head made up from the letters D-o-g.

The only remnant from its last logo is a border color, which appears to have the same green as in the Starbucks logo.

“I don’t know if they can own the color green,” Andrea said.

The Dog Place, a canine daycare and boarding facility with a focus on providing dogs a home-like atmosphere, is located at 220 N. Main St., Algonquin. For more information, call 847-458-2220 or visit www.starbarksdog.com, er, www.the-dogplace.com.

• Email ccashman@shawmedia.com

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