Buc-ee's, Chicks Working on Settlement

Published in CSP Daily News

Retailers with rival concepts have until July 22 to resolve copyright infringement suit

BRYAN, Texas -- A Texas district court has dismissed a trademark infringement lawsuit that convenience retailer Buc-ee's Ltd. filed against the owners of Chicks, a new convenience store in Bryan, Texas, pending the completion of the settlement the two parties said that they have reached.

New Braunfels, Texas-based Buc-ee's filed the original complaint on March 8 and named Bryan-based Chicks Development Group LLC; Ray Hansen, company secretary; and Jackson Fulham, company president, as defendants, reported The Eagle.

Buc-ee's Ltd., a retailer known for its large stores, wide variety of merchandise, clean restrooms--and its iconic Beaver logo--has nearly 30 locations in Texas.

The Chicks location in Bryan, the chain's first, features 23 restrooms, 18 Exxon-branded gasoline dispensers, a deli with 300 menu items including tacos, 60 soda fountains, coffee, ICEEs, self-serve frozen yogurt, kolaches, its own brand of fresh beef jerky and 20-pound bags of ice for 99 cents, according to its website. It has 12,000 square feet of retail space and 120 parking spots.

Its logo includes two chickens.

The lawsuit stems from the similar concepts, including site and store design, product mix, construction and even logo, according to court filings accessed by CSP Daily News. The court documents detail similarities in building design (including size, style, configuration, materials, color schemes), parking, fuel dispensers, bathrooms (including number and size), fountain and foodservice offerings, as well as website design.

Buc-ee's executives contended that the similarities will confuse consumers.

In court document, Buc-ee's asserted that by using features similar to those found outside and inside Buc-ee's stores, Chicks is potentially harming the chain in several ways, including placing the reputation of Buc-ee's in the hands of Chicks' owners and employees and allowing Chicks "to gain acceptance for their convenience store services and products based on ... the reputation and goodwill of Buc-ee's."

On May 21, Judge Nancy Atlas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered the case be dismissed on the condition that a settlement is finalized by July 22, the newspaper said.

Charles Baker, a Houston-based attorney representing Buc-ee's, told the paper that he could not comment on the case or any details of the settlement while the two parties were working on an agreement.