Starbucks Steaming Over 'Starstrucks' Chain in India

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) is opposing Indian entrepreneur Shahnaz Husain's plans to start a chain of coffee shops called Starstrucks, the Mint business paper reported.

The U.S. coffee shop chain has told India's Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademark that the name is deceptively similar to its own name, the paper said.

Husain, an herbal beauty specialist who has a range of skincare and haircare products and salons named after her, is not willing to give up the name, the paper said.

"Why should I give it up? Hundreds of others are deceptively similar. What to do? They have opposed and we will fight," Husain, called the Herbal Queen, told Mint.

Husain plans to open 25 stores in a year. The shops will have a glamour theme, with posters of movie stars, the paper said.

"My concept's totally different," she said.

Starbucks, the latest in a line of foreign companies facing branding challenges in India, is reported to be awaiting permission from the Indian government to open its coffee shops in a joint venture with an Indonesian franchisee and Pantaloon Retail India Ltd.'s founder Kishore Biyani.

The government had sought some clarifications from Starbucks on its joint venture arrangement, local papers have said.