A coffee shop in New York has filed a $10 million trademark infringement lawsuit against Starbucks claiming that the latter copied its idea for the "Unicorn Frappuccino."
Starbucks's Unicorn Frappuccino
Starbucks's blended beverage, which was offered in stores in the United States, Mexico, and Canada for a limited time last month was a hit, as suggested by the posts and images of the drink that many people posted on social media.
The beverage was the first new Frappuccino flavor that Starbucks offered this year.
What made the drink special is it changes both its colors and flavors as it is stirred up.
"Like its mythical namesake, the Unicorn Frappuccino blended crème comes with a bit of magic, starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity," Starbucks described it.
Available For Limited Time Period
The beverage being offered for a limited period also made it a drink-to-try for many Starbucks patrons as the coffee shop chain offered it to consumers "while supplies last" from April 19 to April 23 only.
Beverage Loaded With Sugar
Despite the drink's popularity and the buzz it generated on social media, not everyone has a favorable take on the beverage. For one, the drink is loaded with too much sugar. A Grande Unicorn Frappuccino has more than double the amount of acceptable sugar intake per day
The frappe is no longer available but Starbucks appears to be in trouble over this colorful drink.
The End Brooklyn's Unicorn Latte
The End Brooklyn cafe, owned by Montauk Juice Factory, is now suing the coffee shop chain claiming that the Frappuccino overshadowed its "Unicorn Latte," which it started selling in December, months before Starbucks offered its drink. The End claimed it applied for a trademark on the drink last January.
The coffee shop and its owner filed a federal suit in the U.S. States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday, May 4, over claims that Starbucks's colorful drink infringed its Unicorn Latte drink.
The End said that Starbuck's drink stirred misperception that the small cafe copied the product of the widely known coffee chain. Both beverages have similar names and similar appearance.
The End Wants Compensation And An Apology From Starbucks
The End and its owner ask the court to order Starbucks to hand to them all profits made by Starbucks from the unicorn drink and pay them for the losses they incurred. The cafe also asks for an apology.
"The Unicorn Latte has been the most popular product we've created to date, so we were shocked and disappointed when Starbucks came out with the Unicorn Frappuccino, which is similar to our product in name and appearance, but has none of its healthy ingredients," said The End co-owner Bret Caretsky.
Inspired By Unicorn-Themed Food And Drinks
Starbucks said that the claims of the lawsuit do not have merit citing that its blended beverage was inspired by unicorn-themed food and drinks that are popular in social media.