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Buc-ee's v. Choke Canyon

Original Complaint Deconstruct

Last updated -June 20, 2017
Page added - September 28, 2016

On this page we will examine in detail the frivolous claims made by Buc-ee's and their idiot lawyers against Choke Canyon. Step by step, we will deconstruct the spacious arguments made by attorney H. Tracy Richardson III and his merry band of mind muffins. And let us make one major point clear - Buc-ee's is nothing more than a glorified truck stop. Yes it has a lot of gas pumps and a large convenience store attached. As applied to Buc-ee's, that is nothing more than the proverbial lipstick on a pig adage. Buc-ee's did not originate the concept of large truck stops but they are acting like they did. And with some of the most rediculous claims. See for yourself.

Just an aside but somehow a person who uses their first initial, like J. Edgar Hoover did, seems a little creepy. Just an opinion. Probably not true. Just saying.

The original defendants in this case were named as AMJAD PANJWANI, SHEPHERD RETAIL, INC. AND HARLOW FOOD, INC. Collectively we are referring to them as Choke Canyon.

Buc-ee's is Lone Star Stupid but its lawyers know about thses pages and have know about them since at least November 2016.

If what we are saying about their cases was not accurate surely they would have voiced some concern to us in the form of a cease and desist demand. They have not. Our opinions of Buc-ee's and the legion of Buck-ee's Boobs is not subject to a cease and desist unless we are inventing falsehoods. But wait! That's exactly what Buc-ee's did through its lawyers, Buc-ee's Boobs.

So really how can they object to us being a little creative in our stated opinions when they go into federal court and lie? In our opinion they lied and we support what we think with lots of facts. They lied in federal court to browbeat lesser cash-infused competition into submission. That is what we call trademark extortion.

The lame-brain lawyers for Buc-ee's have abandoned their unsupportable trade dress claims as of October 13, 2016, when they filed a Second Amended Complaint. It appears they have deserted the federal trademark dress claims in favor of Texas law. A quick look at the Second Amended Complaint shows the lawyers for Buc-ee's dropped any references to trade dress -- which were all frivolous anyway, and they had to know it. Perhaps they needed more billing hours to pay for their holiday celebrations to close out 2016.

We have a complete court docket as of April 21, 2017. Click Here to view the docket. Click Here for the Second Amended Complaint [in PDF format 2mb].

Buc-ee's legal bills just keep climbing. On November 17, 2016, the over-bearing lawers for Buc-ee's filed a Third Amended Complaint. This filing is very similar to the Second Amended Complaint. But, Buc-ee's Boobs get to pad their legal bill even more. Click here for the Third Amended Complaint [in PDF format 31 pages].

All of the allegations in the Third Amended Complaint revolve around one basic and fraudulent claim: that the Choke Canyon alligator logo is confusingly similar to to Buc-ee's beaver logo. That simply is not factual. It is a fabrication in an attempt to defend their initial disgraceful and phony trade dress claims while they were actually trying to stifle perceived competition by filing a lawsuit. Compare the two logos:

The Boobs Of Buc-ee's
Visit one of the latest page additions, Buc-ee's Boobs, also know as The Lying Lawyers Of Buc-ee's, a listing of all of the lawyers used by Buc-ee's in its frivolous trade dress lawsuits. They are typical corporate lawyers who lie in court filings in order to serve the over-reaching desires and demands of their competition snuffing clients. But hey, country club memberships are expensive. Ckick here for The Boobs Of Buc-ee's.

Buc-ee's made the following claims in its Original Complaint ¶1 on Page 1:
1. Trade dress infringement under 15 U.S.C. 1125(a),
2. Statutory trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. 1114,
3. Violations of the Texas Anti-Dilution Statute,
4. [Violations of] Texas Business and Commerce Code 16.29,
5. Common law trademark infringement,
6. Unjust enrichment, unfair competition and misappropriation

Whether there is substantial similarity between copyrightable expressions is determined by the "ordinary observer" test. Concrete Mach. Co. v. Classic Lawn Ornaments, 843 F.2d 600, 607 (1st Cir. 1988). "The test is whether the accused work is so similar to the plaintiff's work that an ordinary reasonable person would conclude that the defendant unlawfully appropriated the plaintiff's protected expression by taking material of substance and value." Id. (quoting Educ. Testing Servs. v. Katzman, 793 F.2d 533, 541 (3d Cir. 1986)).

The above quote is applicable to trademark cases as well, especially cases involving trade dress allegations. The main arguments of trademark infringement by Buc-ee's rely heavily on the many unsupportable trade dress claims. Simply put, trade dress consists of factors that, in the mind of the consumer, readily identify a product or business by appearance. The shape of the Coca-Cola bottle identifies it as a product of Coke. A green tractor is identified with John Deere. Decor and staff uniforms within a segment of an industry can be associated with a specific company.

Buc-ee's contends that it has become a "household name across Texas and other states." Many businesses are recognized throughout the country by their advertising and some are regional. Many of these business which are truck stops with expanded convenience stores similar to Buc-ee's. None of these other convenience store truck stops claim the exclusive rights that Buc-ee's claims to own.

Shortly after filing their Original Complaint, on December 23, 2015, Buc-ee's filed their First Amended Complaint, [PDF format] on February 26, 2016. The Amended Complaint was over twice as many pages as the Original Compalint. We're guessing that attorney H. Tracy Richardson III either did't get it right the first go round or another filing meant more billing for his firm so he can pay for his new Mercedes.

We will focus on the claims and skip most of the legal mumbo-jumbo. From ¶17 on Page 5 of the Original Complaint, Buc-ee's trade dress claims:

17. The features of the Buc-ee's Trade Dress that help distinguish the Buc-ee's convenience stores (and thereby help to identify and distinguish the Buc-ee's convenience stores from the stores of others) include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Consistent use of bell-gabled roof lines; [***]
(b) Use of a red, white, yellow and black color scheme in store signage; [***]
v (c) Use of stone siding on the exterior of the store; [***]
(d) Consistent use of a specific and distinctive fountain drink set up in the interior of the stores; [***]
(e) In-store computer ordering kiosks;
(f) Horse-shoe shaped in-store carving stations;
(g) Open counter deli stations;
(h) Freshly prepared signature food choices; [***]
(i) Consistent, prominent use of the BUC-EE'S Marks in signage above and on the products offered for sale;
(j) Large square footage; [***]
(k) Numerous fuel pumps; [***]
(l) Abundant and oversized parking spaces; [***]
(m) Oversized bathrooms; [***]
(n) A multitude of cashier stations; [***]
(o) Entrances from three of the four sides of the building.
(p) Antique-looking displays;
(q) Country-themed signage; and
(r) Khaki paint colors. [***]

Claims followed by [***] were specifically stated against Choke Canyon in ¶25, page 9. Consider how outrageous these claims are, individually and collectively.

Large square footage, abundant and oversized parking spaces, a multitude of cashier stations, numerous fuel pumps, all of which also describes virtually every Wal-Mart in the US, with or without an attending gas station. Why isn't Buc-ee's suing Wal-Mart as well? What constitutes a "multitude"? Sounds like angels descending from above. How many is "numerous"? Why not sue Flying-J, Love's and the other turck stops throughtout the US?

Open counter deli stations, freshly prepared signature food choices, fountain drink set up[s] and open counter deli stations describes a tremendous number of modern grocery stores throught the US. Why isn't Buc-ee's suing them? You can get "signature foods" at Safeway where they are actually called "Signature" foods.

Bell-gabled roof lines, stone siding and khaki paint colors are architectural choices which are not protected under trademark laws. Khaki paint? Get serious. Stone siding? What are they smoking at Buc-ee's corporate headquarters?

Prominent use of the BUC-EE'S Marks is silly mainly because all stores with store brands display their names and logos prominently. It is called smart advertising.

Entrances from three of the four sides of the building is a convenience factor, not a distinct quality.

Buc-ee's and its idiot attorney H. Tracy Richardson III should be fined for wasting the time and resources of a federal court.

Also claimed by Buc-ee's in the Original Complaint [¶25(l) on Page 9]
(l) Prominent use of the animal-themed logos and marks depicted in identical color schemes to those of the BUC-EE'S Marks in store signage.

Hardly. The two logos look nothing alike. A pudgy, short, brown, buck-toothed beaver wearing a red baseball cap going up against a tall smiling alligator who is wearing a tan cowboy hat and kicking his chops through rows of sharp carnivorous teeth.

We have already addressed the non-existent similarities between the Beaver logo and the Choke Canyon logo. If you wish to refresh your recollection of those frivolous claims, The Beaver-Choke Canyon Logo Comparison. It will open in a second browser frame so you will not lose your place. .
Things start getting a little hinky starting on page 10 ¶ 28 of the original complaint. Pictures of products being displayed "in a manner that results in confusion to the consumer ". Just when you thought it couldn't get any more stupid from Buc-ee's. You can't make this stuff up.

28. In addition, Defendants have intentionally packaged and promoted t-shirts and products in a manner that results in confusion to the consumer and further infringes upon the marks of Buc-ee's.

So, routine and common-place store displays are infringing upon Buc-ee's, what? Buc-ee's is not claiming they own "NUGGETS" but rather that Buc-ee's owns bags of nuggets with a label containing any logo?

Buc-ee's is also claiming that a t-shirt with a logo on it belongs to Buc-ee's. Don't tell Batman that he is infringing upon Buc-ee's trade dress.

Those Tie Dye T-shirts are not even close. Yes, they have similar colors but again, Buc-ee's does not own color combinations.

Ice machines with a company logo on them? Buc-ee's is claiming it belongs to them. Next Buc-ee's will sue the sun, a.k.a. SOL, for being round with a yellow background.

Ah, we are at the end of the Original Complaint, minus the legal jargon and closing prayers for relief asking for virtually all of Choke Canyon's assets and its first born male child. The Original Complaint is signed by attorney H. Tracy Richardson III General Counsel for BUC-EE'S, LTD.

Buc-ee's v Choke Canyon Court Documents 15-CV-03704
All of the lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. We will concentrate on the latest of these lawsuits as it has not been settled and was scheduled for a jury trial in January 2017. Here is a list of the Buc-ee's v Choke Canyon court filings we presently have for your viewing pleasure.

Court filings are not protected under copyright law so feel free to view and download any you might want. The many administrative motions are not listed. All files below are in PDF format and are from Buc-ee's v Choke Canyon, 15-CV-03704.

The trial date was set for August 21, 2017 in Houston District Court, Courtroom #3A at 0900
(reference docket #148, June 20, 2017). Trial date has been postponed.

Original Complaint filed December 23, 2015, 18 pages 1mb
Def Motion To Dismiss or Change Venue filed February 5, 2016, 12 pages 322k
Plt First Amended Complaint filed February 26, 2016, 39 pages 2mb
Def Motion To Dismiss For Failure To State Claim filed April 1, 2016, 30 pages 1mb
Plt Response To Motion To Dismiss filed April 22, 2016, 30 pages 377k
Def Motion To Compel Answers To ,Interrogatories filed June 23, 2016, 11 pages 77k
Def Supplemental Filing Support Motion To Dismiss filed August 24, 2016, 3 pages 130k
Plt Supplemental Response filed August 30, 2016, 129k
Plt Second Amended Complaint filed October 13, 2016, 30 pages 1.84 mb
Def Response to Second Amended Complaint filed November 11, 2016, 10 pages, 47.5 kb
Third Amended Complaint filed by Buc-ee's on November 17, 2016, 31 pages, 813kb.
Answer To Third Amended Complaint filed December 12, 2016, 13 pages, 73 kb.
Likelihood Of Confusion Survey filed May 5, 2017, 59 pages, 930 kb.
Motion By Buc-ee's to Exclude Survey filed June 23, 2017, 19 pages, 713 kb.
Response To The Motion To Exclude The Survey Filed July 7, 2017, 18 pages, 262 kb.
Attempting To Influence The Testimony Of A Witness Filed July 11, 2017 3 pages 63.2 kb

On November 17, 2016, the over-bearing lawers for Buc-ee's filed a Third Amended Complaint. The Third Amended Complaint is very similar to their second Amended Complaint. It appears they were trying to again correct problems in their second complaint. They did the same thing after a response was filed to their Original Complaint. Gee, after the other side shows [Buc-ee's lawyers] how stupid you are, so you try to correct the stupidity. But if you're that stupid in the first place, is not your attempt to correct your stupidity a waste of time? Because you are clueless!

If someone has to point out your stupidity, as we do in the Boobs Of Buc-ee's, perhaps you chose the wrong profession? We think so. It seems you [Buc-ee's lawyers] get paid to be stupid. Somewhat like politicians. You get to lie without consequences because you are an "officer of the court". What is wrong with our court system? Just read this and related court cases. Slow and unavailing. Cases that should be administered quickly drag on because of lawyers like Buc-ee's Boobs. The cost of litigation is out of control. Even just a traffic ticket is expensive with a lawyer. It is not supposed to be that way.

The Boobs Of Buc-ee's
Visit one of the latest page additions, Buc-ee's Boobs, also know as The Lying Lawyers Of Buc-ee's, a listing of all of the lawyers used by Buc-ee's in its frivolous trade dress lawsuits. They are typical corporate lawyers who lie in court filings in order to serve the over-reaching desires and demands of their competition snuffing clients. But hey, country club memberships are expensive. Ckick here for The Boobs Of Buc-ee's.

Just to refresh your memory, a recap of lawsuits involving Buc-ee's eight frivolous trademark actions.
On December 2, 2008, Bucky's (Nebraska) filed a trademark non-infringement complaint against the Texas-based bully Buc-ee's but only AFTER Buc-ee's filed to stop Bucky's from obtaining a federally registeredrademark with the USPTO

On March 8, 2013, Buc-ee's filed a trademark infringement complaint against the Texas-based Chick's.

On July 16, 2013, Buc-ee's filed a trademark infringement complaint against Utah-based Beaver Water.

On November 13, 2013 Buc-ee's filed a trademark infringement complaint against the Texas-based Irv's.

On July 3, 2014, Buc-ee's filed a trademark infringement complaint against the Texas-based Frio River Grocery, the Frio Beaver Logo.

On December 23, 2015 Buc-ee's filed a trademark infringement complaint against the Texas-based Choke Canyon Travel Center

On March 14, 2017, Buc-ee's filed a trademark opposition complaint against Nebraska-based Bucky's in violation of their 2009 settlement agreement where Buc-ee's waived any future opposition to Bucky's.

On March 15, 2017, Buc-ee's filed a USPTO trademark opposition complaint against Sam's Mart

Every one of these cases was, and still is, without factual merit. No reasonable person could find any of these logos confusingly similar with that stupid beaver. No reasonable person could find any of Buc-ee's trade dress claims to be valid.

We have never posted a request like this one before but Buc-ee's and its lawyers are so over-reaching in these frivolous lawsuits. Leave the Beaver standing in his own pee. It's what he deserves.

Buc-ee's website is located at It does not list a telephone number. So, if you agree with us that Buc-ee's has become a Trademark Extortionist, use their contact page to let them know. Cut and paste this link:

Click on the links below to go to the pages shown.
The Big Bad Blowhard Beaver's Main page Buc-ee's Boobs
The Beaver-Chicks Logo Comparison The Beaver-Beaver Water Logo Comparison The Beaver-Irv's Logo Comparison
The Beaver-Frio Beaver Logo Comparison The Beaver-Choke Canyon Logo Comparison The Beaver vs Sam's Mart Logo Comparison
Bucky's vs Buc-ee's, part 1 Dec 12, 2008 (Nebraska). Bucky's vs Buc-ee's, part 2, Mar 14, 2017 (Houston)
Deconstruct Of the Orginal Complaint Deconstruct Of the Amended Complaint

This web site, is owned and maintained by Karen Dudnikov and Michael Meadors, P.O. Box 87, Hartsel CO 80449. We are solely responsible for the content and the opinions expressed here. Please make sure you spell our names correctly on any threats of litigation and/or court documents.

More coming soon to this page. Stay tuned. Don't touch that dial.



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