Starbucks is being sued by a small New York City cafe for trademark infringement over the new Unicorn Frappuccino. The End, Brooklyn, claims they introduced a healthy Unicorn Latte in December and it is being overshadowed by the coffee giant’s new drink. Starbucks’ Seattle branch launched the drink in April as a limited-edition.
The End claims they have had a trademark for the drink pending since January, and will use this in court to prevent Starbucks from continuing to sell the Unicorn drink.
The drinks are similar in that neither contains coffee, but they are on opposite ends of the healthy consumption spectrum. The End says its Unicorn Latte is made from ingredients like dates, ginger root, cashews, blended with “healthy” dried maca root, vanilla bean, and blue-green algae. The lawsuit, quoting from Starbucks’ website, says the larger competitor’s drink is made from milk and artificial sweeteners.
“The size of and scope of Starbucks’ product launch was designed so that the Unicorn Frappuccino would eclipse the Unicorn Latte in the market,” confusing the Brooklyn company’s customers, the lawsuit alleges. “In addition to having a highly similar name, Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino shares visual similarities to the Unicorn Latte in that both were brightly colored and featured the colors pink and blue prominently.”
Starbucks told the Associated Press that the lawsuit has no legal merit, but the Brooklyn cafe, located in New York City’s hipster Williamsburg neighborhood, seeks unspecified compensation and a public apology.