SEATTLE, Washington: Starbucks Corp has applied to the U.S. trademark office for the right to use its name on a sports stadium or training facility.
In a June 2 application, the coffee chain sought approval to use its name in "providing stadium and training facilities for sports and entertainment activities" and "promoting business, sports and entertainment events of others."
"Either it is actively looking to make a deal to sponsor a venue, or it wants to protect its right to potentially use its name in that manner," said Ashley Dobbs, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia who specializes in intellectual property.
Starbucks declined to comment.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will assign a lawyer to review Starbucks' application by early September.
If the patent office has no objection, Starbucks will have six months to show it is using its mark in commerce. The company may apply for extensions.
Naming rights agreements often run for decades and can cost companies millions of dollars annually.