Movie Project

Kenyetta Patton




Discussion Questions


Starbucks is a responsible owner of a trademark and has the right to take the necessary steps to protect its marks’ strengths if it feels they have been compromised. The strategy of protecting its trademark rights is consistent with the organizations’ overall technique of upholding its intellectual property integrity. However, attempting to stop Zurich from the defense of Black Bear was unethical since the organization designed the amendment to affect the leverage of the settlement negotiation. The withdrawal of Zurich coverage defense would have made Black Bear use its finances in covering the costs of legal defense against Starbucks, which would have depleted the company’s finances, driving it into bankruptcy and making it discontinue fighting back. Thus, Starbucks’ ness strategy was not a legitimate business practice as it used its resources to impact settlement negotiation.


This statement is square with Starbucks’ litigation strategy because it portrays the company as self-centered in protecting itself by attacking Black Bear. However, Starbucks is committed to impacting communities it serves positively, and because the community is a broad scope, the company consists of groups of individuals affiliated by particular interest, geographic proximity, and the same interest in addressing similar issues affecting the people; Starbucks should have considered Black Bear as part of the community and seek for strategies to solve the dispute harmoniously without attempting to force Blak Bear into settlement unethically.


The code of ethics is meant to deter organizations from wrongdoing by promoting ethical conduct and honesty to ensure that organizations conduct operations ethically and consistently legally (Mundhe & Sanstha, 2020). Therefore, there is no ethical conflict between an organization’s objectives to being a good business neighbor and its responsibility in protecting its intellectual property, provided its actions toward protecting the intellectual property are guided by high ethical standards. Also, the organization should interact with other organizations during the litigation process in an honest and open positive manner driven by what is and right. For example, although Starbucks attempted to protect its intellectual property, it did not act ethically to serve as a good business neighbor.


Business ethics are standards that define morally wrong and proper conduct in corporate operations. Amidst the rapid growth of corporate practices, organizations must conduct practices correctly and adhere to trademark rights. Trademark laws are designed to prevent consumers from getting confused by trademarks that organizations use regarding their products or services (Stim, 2020). Ethically, if an organization uses a specific business name, another business in a similar field should not choose a name that can be confusingly similar. Therefore, it was not ethical for Black Bear to use Charbucks, a nearly identical name to another company’s coffee trademark.


Generally, it is not ethical for an organization to use an identical name to another because that can lead to consumer confusion and trademark dilution. However, it all depends on factors like geographic location, product, industry, and licensing agreement.


In my opinion, it was not ethical for Starbucks to exclusively rely on telephone surveys to determine the actual dilution because telephone surveys are biased. First, telephone surveys do not provide the participant with an equal chance of participation since only those with network connectivity and phones can participate in the study. Secondly, interviewers are likely to skip or probe complex questions, leading to unreliable results when using a telephone survey.



Mundhe, E. S., & Sanstha’s, R. S, (2020). Business Ethics: Elements and Importance.

Stim, R. (2020). Patent, copyright & trademark: an intellectual property desk reference.