SUGAR LAND, Texas – While we loved seeing McDowell’s take on the big guys at McDonald’s in Eddie Murphy’s side-splitting 80′s iconic movie, “Coming To America,” the people at Buc-ee’s may feel a trademark infringement lawsuit they’ve filed is no laughing matter.
The company is suing Sugar Land business owner Saarim Damani, claiming his “Bukys” is nothing more than a knockoff.
The “Nature of Action” portion of the lawsuit states, “this is an action for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and false designation of origin, and unjust enrichment.”
Both businesses are convenience and gas store chains welcoming travelers along the highway and, according to the lawsuit, the similar logos could cause confusion in the marketplace.
The lawsuit documents include photos of both logos, showing the similarities.
To back up their claim, Buc-ee’s got specific, noting that their staple logo has block lettering and enlarged red letters with the capitalization of the first letter “B” and the last letter “S.”
In comparison, the lawsuit states that Bukys is also using enlarged red, stylized block letters with the first letter “B” and the last letter “S” emphasized from the other letters, and the word is in a generally arced shape.
Buc-ee’s appears to be making a case that, while there are subtle differences, the copycat is intentional. This is not the first time the company has taken on other businesses it felt was benefiting from Buc-ee’s signature brand.
In 2018, Buc-ee’s won a lawsuit against Choke Canyon, proving that the San Antonio-based store’s alligator logo was too similar to the Buc-ee’s beaver. A year before that, Buc-ee’s sued convenience store chain “Bucky’s” after it announced it was expanding from Nebraska to Texas. Now, the “Beaver” is chomping after Damani, who has chains in El Campo and Rosenberg.
KPRC2 Investigates spoke to Saarim Damani about the lawsuit and asked him if he plans to change the name of his stores.
He told us he would not answer that question.
“I will not talk about that right now... but we are not going to fight this thing”, Damani said.
Damani says he named the store Buky’s after a childhood name that his friends used to call him when he was a boy.
Also in the lawsuit, Buc-ee’s points out that it has made quite a name for itself. For the last four decades, the company has offered quality products to the public under the Buc-ee’s brand. The chain has become a household name, starting as a single convenience store in Lake Jackson and has now established its famous presence, with more than 30 stores operating across Texas. Buc-ee’s has prided itself in providing premium goods and services to its customers, standing by its motto of “clean, friendly and in stock.” The original iconic trademarks have been in continuous service since at least July 1982.
Buc-ee’s is asking for injunctive relief, recovering damages, profits and attorney fees. A pretrial is scheduled for Feb. 4 and the company is demanding a jury trial.