NYC coffee shop sues Starbucks over Unicorn beverage

“A Unicorn Frappuccino beverage is placed on the counter for a customer at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Austin, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) may be in a bit of hot water over its Unicorn beverage as a New York City coffee shop has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against the coffee chain over the popular drink, court documents showed. The End Brooklyn and its owner, Montauk Juice Factory, said it created the Unicorn Latte, its own bright pink and blue drink, and began selling it in December, four months before Starbucks launched the Unicorn Frappuccino, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York. Montauk Juice Factory filed a trademark application for the Unicorn Latte on Jan. 20 after the popularity of its drink soared, accounting for about a quarter of the store’s sales since its launch, it said in the suit. In addition to similar names, the similar appearance of the drinks creates confusion within the market, the coffee shop noted in the suit. By creating and marketing such a similar product, Starbucks should be “held accountable for infringing, diluting and otherwise diminishing” the plaintiffs’ intellectual property value, the lawsuit said. The coffee shop and its owner is asking the court to order Seattle-based Starbucks to pay them all profits made from the Unicorn drink and for any losses that they incurred, the lawsuit said. Starbucks said it believed the lawsuit’s claims were without merit. “The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino blended beverage was inspired by the fun, spirited and colorful unicorn-themed food and drinks that have been trending in social media,” the company said in an email, adding that it was offered for a limited period in April and was no longer available.” (Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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