6 September 2017Trademarks

Starbucks settles unicorn infringement charge with Brooklyn café

Multinational coffee company Starbucks has settled a dispute over the alleged infringement of a unicorn-themed drink.

Back in May, a New York City café, The End Brooklyn, sued Starbucks at the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, accusing the conglomerate of infringing The End’s trademark for ‘Unicorn Latte’.

Starbuck’s limited-edition drink, the Unicorn Frappuccino, was at the centre of the clash.

Launched in April, the drink is described as a “flavour-changing, colour-changing, totally not-made-up” drink by Starbucks.

The End has marketed its own colourful beverage under the name Unicorn Latte since December last year, according to the lawsuit.

But unlike the Frappuccino, which is a “concoction of milk, artificial sweeteners, colour additives, and pinches of fruit juice concentrate for flavour” (according to The End), the Latte is a “blend of fresh juices and healthy ingredients”.

The café had claimed that the “size of and scope of Starbucks’ product launch was designed so that the Unicorn Frappuccino would eclipse the Unicorn Latte in the market”.

The End added that its customers were confused by the similarity, with some assuming that its drinks were a “copy-cat or knockoff” of Starbucks’ products.

Yesterday, September 5, US District Judge Arthur Spatt signed the dismissal order—a stipulation of voluntary dismissal with prejudice against Starbucks.

According to the order, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, effective August 22. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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