Starbucks sues company in Neb. over trademark row

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Starbucks is suing a South Dakota information technology company in Omaha's federal court over a dispute concerning both companies' use of the initials "SDN."

Starbucks says it sued after receiving letters from an attorney for South Dakota Network LLC demanding that the Seattle-based coffee giant stop its use of "SDN" to refer to a website and smartphone application offered to Starbucks' customers.

Starbucks says it sometimes uses "SDN" as shorthand for its Starbucks Digital Network, a website for use in Starbucks stores. Starbucks' smartphone app also appears on phone screens with a star and the acronym SDN.

South Dakota Network does business as SDN Communications and owns several "SDN" registered trademarks. It says it wants Starbucks to stop using to acronym to avoid potential confusion for its customers.