California Intellectual Property Blog


Starbucks Unicorn Drink Trademark Lawsuit Is Amicably Resolved

Los Angeles – Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the world, released a unicorn themed Frappuccino for a limited time between April 19th and 23rd of this year. Unicorn themed foods and products have been trending across social media the last couple of years so it is no wonder Starbucks took the opportunity to jump into the fray. However, Starbucks was not the first to create a commercially sold unicorn themed beverage. v

Unicorn themed foods are colored with cotton candy type colors including pink, blue, purple and edible glitter. They are bright and playful. The End is a small café located in New York City that created and kicked off the unicorn latte social media sensation. The End began selling its Unicorn Latte in December 2016, and the company applied for a trademark in January 2017.

The End’s unicorn latte was formulated in conjunction with Montauk Juice Factory. The two invested more than six months into development of the beverage. The End’s Unicorn Latte is made with healthy and natural ingredients to appeal to its hipster clientele. The End’s unicorn beverage includes ingredients such as cold-pressed ginger, lemon juice, dates and cashews, and some blue-green algae harvested from an Oregon lake.

As for Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino, it lacked any healthy ingredients and was made with a sweet dusting of pink powder, mango syrup, and layered with sour blue syrup.

The End café claims that Starbucks released its unicorn themed drink to overshadow its own unicorn latte. Because Starbucks is such a larger chain, The End feels that Starbucks misled consumers to believe The End was copying Starbucks, damaging its claim to fame for the unique drink and creating consumer confusion. As a result, Montauk Juice Factory which is the cocreator and the parent company of The End café, sued Starbucks for trademark infringement. The End was asking for $10 million in damages from Starbucks.

The lawsuit was recently settled, but court documents do not specify a settlement amount. However, per the terms of the agreement The End café has agreed not to sue Starbucks over the unicorn related drinks in the future.


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