Starbucks and The End - Unicorn battle

Posted by Jane on July 13, 2018 / Posted in Trade Marks
A look back at a case last year which concerned one of the biggest recent trends- unicorns.

Starbucks Corp the American coffee company, has grown to become one of the largest coffee companies, since they were established in 1971. The company now operates internationally, with more than 24,000 retail stores.

Themed foods have become increasingly popular providing many businesses with a USP. Of late there has been a substantial increase in unicorn themed food products, therefore Starbucks has encompassed this trend and has introduced the new “Unicorn Frappuccino” as a limited-edition drink to fulfil the temporary needs of customers. However, it is believed that Starbucks had plagiarized the beverage, which had been created by The End. The End had also applied for a Trademark, but regardless of this Starbucks plagiarized the beverage, and claimed to have created the product.

As a consequence of plagiarizing the “Unicorn Latte” Starbucks has infringed the Trade Mark Act 1994. Therefore, The End filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for infringement of trademark, in 2017, demanding $10 million for damages. The End alleged that Starbucks “Unicorn Frappuccino has caused a decrease in sales revenue, in addition to having misled customers as many customers began to believe that the two stores’ products were identical.

Subsequently later, on the 22ND August 2017 Starbucks agreed to settle their trademark dispute, however did not specify the settlement amount. In addition to the settlement, The End has also agreed not to sue Starbucks for any Unicorn related drinks, in the future. 

By Manpreet Taak

Jane Coyle
This entry was posted on July 13, 2018 and is filed under Trade Marks. You can follow our blog through the RSS 2.0 feed.