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Starbucks wins logo case in China

Date: Jan 3, 2006
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:44 - 203.5 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book
 

THE ARTICLE

The global cafe chain Starbucks has won an important legal battle in China. For two years, the Seattle-based company has been trying to stop the Xingbake Coffee Co. Ltd, a Chinese chain, from copying its logo and from using a Chinese name that sounds like “Starbucks”. "Xing" means “star” in English and “bake” sounds like “bucks”. A Shanghai court ordered Xingbake to stop its “illegitimate competition”. Judge Lu ruled that the name “Starbucks” and the logo were trademarks that were protected under Chinese law. He ordered Xingbake to change its name and pay US$62,500 compensation to Starbucks.

Starbucks entered the Chinese market in 1999 and now has over 300 outlets on the Chinese mainland. Xingbake registered its company name in China in November 1999 - after Starbucks had registered its trademark. The company opened its first coffee shops in 2003. It pirated the Starbucks name, logo and image. Starbucks sued its Chinese copycat in December 2003. It is the first international company to test China’s trademark laws. Lawyers see the court’s decision in Starbucks’ favor as an important one. It may start a crackdown on the widespread pirating of foreign brands in China.

WARM-UPS

1. LOGOS: In pairs / groups, make a list of the most famous company logos you can think of. Talk about the logos. Which ones are the best? What makes them the best? What improvements would you make to them?

2. PIRACY: Are you a pirate? Do you photocopy things you shouldn’t? Do you download things illegally? Do you buy fake goods? Answer these questions with your partner(s). Talk about how bad the following are:

  1. Photocopying non-copiable books.
  2. Recording music from tapes, CDs, MDs or mp3s borrowed from friends.
  3. Videotaping movies and TV shows from the television.
  4. Illegally downloading music on the Internet.
  5. Buying fake goods.
  6. Copying someone’s company name and/or logo.

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Coffee shops/ legal battles / copyright / competition / translation / stars / Chinese law / trademarks / piracy / copycats / image / lawyers / foreign brands

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. STARBUCKS VERBS: In pairs/groups, agree on endings to these sentence starters. Talk about your sentences. Change partners and compare your sentences.

  1. Starbucks is _____________________________________________________.
  2. Starbucks aims ___________________________________________________.
  3. Starbucks supports ________________________________________________.
  4. Starbucks serves __________________________________________________.
  5. Starbucks markets _________________________________________________.
  6. Starbucks opens __________________________________________________.

5. SCHOOL LOGO: In pairs / groups, design logo for your English school (or company). Change partners and explain the various points of your design. Vote on the best logo in the class.

6. COPYRIGHT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “copyright”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Starbucks has won a court case to stop a rival from copying its logo.

T / F

b.

The rival company was called Sbartucks Coffee Co. Ltd.

T / F

c.

In Chinese, “bake” sounds like “bucks”.

T / F

d.

A judge ordered the rival to pay Starbucks US$625,000 in damages.

T / F

e.

Starbucks entered the Chinese market in 1999.

T / F

f.

Xingbake started opening coffee shops in 2003.

T / F

g.

Starbucks is the fifth global company to test China’s copyright laws.

T / F

h.

The judge’s decision will increase the pirating of foreign goods.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

chain

damages

b.

stop

illegal

c.

illegitimate

copied

d.

ruled

initial

e.

compensation

decided

f.

outlets

prevent

g.

first

ruling

h.

pirated

group

i.

decision

common

j.

widespread

shops

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

The global cafe

under Chinese law

b.

using a Chinese name

compensation to Starbucks

c.

…court ordered Xingbake to stop

name, logo and image

d.

trademarks that were protected

a crackdown on…

e.

pay US$62,500

that sounds like “Starbucks”

f.

…and now has over 300

to test China’s trademark laws

g.

It pirated the Starbucks

chain Starbucks

h.

the first international company

of foreign brands in China

i.

It may start

its “illegitimate competition”

j.

the widespread pirating

outlets on the Chinese mainland

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

Starbucks wins logo case in China

The global cafe ________ Starbucks has won an important ________ battle in China. For two years, the Seattle-based company has been trying to stop the Xingbake Coffee Co. Ltd, a Chinese chain, from copying its ________ and from using a Chinese name that sounds like “Starbucks”. "Xing" means “________” in English and “bake” ________ like “bucks”. A Shanghai court ordered Xingbake to stop its “illegitimate competition”. Judge Lu ruled that the name “Starbucks” and the logo were ________ that were protected ________ Chinese law. He ordered Xingbake to change its name and ________ US$62,500 compensation to Starbucks.

 

 

star
trademarks
legal
pay
chain
logo
sounds
under

Starbucks ________ the Chinese market in 1999 and now has over 300 outlets on the Chinese ________. Xingbake registered its company name in China in November 1999 - after Starbucks had ________ its trademark. The company opened its first coffee shops in 2003. It ________ the Starbucks name, logo and image. Starbucks ________ its Chinese copycat in December 2003. It is the first international company to ________ China’s trademark laws. Lawyers see the court’s decision in Starbucks’ ________ as an important one. It may start a ________ on the widespread pirating of foreign brands in China.

 

 

crackdown
sued
mainland
favor
entered
pirated
test
registered

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Starbucks wins logo case in China

The global cafe chain Starbucks has won an important legal _______ in China. For two years, the Seattle-based company has been trying to stop the Xingbake Coffee Co. Ltd, a Chinese chain, from copying its _______ and from using a Chinese name that _______ like “Starbucks”. "Xing" means “star” in English and “bake” sounds like “bucks”. A Shanghai court ordered Xingbake to stop its “______________ competition”. Judge Lu ruled that the name “Starbucks” and the logo were trademarks that were __________ under Chinese law. He ordered Xingbake to change its name and pay US$62,500 ____________ to Starbucks.

Starbucks entered the Chinese market in 1999 and now has over 300 _________ on the Chinese mainland. Xingbake _________ its company name in China in November 1999 - after Starbucks had registered its trademark. The company opened its first coffee shops in 2003. It _________ the Starbucks name, logo and image. Starbucks _________ its Chinese copycat in December 2003. It is the first international company to _________ China’s trademark laws. Lawyers see the court’s decision in Starbucks’ _________ as an important one. It may start a crackdown on the widespread pirating of foreign _________ in China.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘star’ and ‘buck’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “LOGO” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about the logos and names of international companies.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • cafe
  • stop
  • sounds
  • means
  • protected
  • pay
  • outlets
  • November 1999
  • pirated
  • sued
  • test
  • crackdown

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. Do you like Starbucks?
  3. What do you think about the judge’s decision?
  4. How important is it to protect the logos of companies?
  5. Does it matter which company registers the trademark first?
  6. What do you think Xingbake executives will do about its logo and name from now?
  7. Do you think Xingbake’s compensation payment to Starbucks is enough?
  8. What can international companies like Sony or Chanel do to stop their products from pirates?
  9. Do you think the pirating of famous brands will disappear one day?
  10. What punishment would you give to someone who illegally downloads music from the Internet?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Do you have a favorite coffee shop or cafe?
  4. Do you have a favorite company logo?
  5. Do you think this decision will put an end to piracy in China?
  6. Would you buy a pirated CD or a fake designer bag?
  7. Do you think pirates play an important role in local economies?
  8. What do you think of the Starbucks name and logo?
  9. What do you think of copycats?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

LOGOS: In pairs / groups, agree on the two most famous logos in each of the categories below. Discuss whether the logos are good and what makes them good (or bad). Discuss improvements on their design.

CATEGORY

GOOD? / BAD?

IMPROVEMENTS
 

Gasoline

 

 

Computer

 

 

Fast food

 

 

Clothes

 

 

NGO / charity

 

 

Other

____________
 

 

 

  • Change partners and tell your new partner(s) what you discussed with your old partner(s).
  • Give each other feedback on your ideas.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on Starbucks and Xingbake. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. MY LOGO: Design a logo for yourself. You will attach it on the signature of your e-mails or print T-shirts for your friends. Give reasons for different points of your design. Show your logo to your classmates in the next lesson. Who has the most interesting logo?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the president of Xingbake. Tell him/her what you think of the court’s decision in Starbucks’ favor. Show your letter to your classmates in the next lesson. Did everyone write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

chain

group

b.

stop

prevent

c.

illegitimate

illegal

d.

ruled

decided

e.

compensation

damages

f.

outlets

shops

g.

first

initial

h.

pirated

copied

i.

decision

ruling

j.

widespread

common

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

The global cafe

chain Starbucks

b.

using a Chinese name

that sounds like “Starbucks”

c.

…court ordered Xingbake to stop

its “illegitimate competition”

d.

trademarks that were protected

under Chinese law

e.

pay US$62,500

compensation to Starbucks

f.

…and now has over 300

outlets on the Chinese mainland

g.

It pirated the Starbucks

name, logo and image

h.

the first international company

to test China’s trademark laws

i.

It may start

a crackdown on…

j.

the widespread pirating

of foreign brands in China

GAP FILL:

Starbucks wins logo case in China

The global cafe chain Starbucks has won an important legal battle in China. For two years, the Seattle-based company has been trying to stop the Xingbake Coffee Co. Ltd, a Chinese chain, from copying its logo and from using a Chinese name that sounds like “Starbucks”. "Xing" means “star” in English and “bake” sounds like “bucks”. A Shanghai court ordered Xingbake to stop its “illegitimate competition”. Judge Lu ruled that the name “Starbucks” and the logo were trademarks that were protected under Chinese law. He ordered Xingbake to change its name and pay US$62,500 compensation to Starbucks.

Starbucks entered the Chinese market in 1999 and now has over 300 outlets on the Chinese mainland. Xingbake registered its company name in China in November 1999 - after Starbucks had registered its trademark. The company opened its first coffee shops in 2003. It pirated the Starbucks name, logo and image. Starbucks sued its Chinese copycat in December 2003. It is the first international company to test China’s trademark laws. Lawyers see the court’s decision in Starbucks’ favor as an important one. It may start a crackdown on the widespread pirating of foreign brands in China.

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