The End Brooklyn, a coffee shop in New York City, says it made a unicorn coffee concoction first, and Starbucks’ bright pink-and-blue drink has caused customers of the Brooklyn shop to think it was the knockoff.
Now The End Brooklyn, a coffee shop in New York City, is claiming that Starbucks’ insanely popular, bright pink-and-blue drink has overshadowed The End’s own Unicorn Latte to such an extent that it’s caused what may be “irreparable” damage.
The End and its owner, Montauk Juice Factory, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York, claiming that Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino infringed on The End’s Unicorn Latte creation.
The Brooklyn coffee house says it began selling its Unicorn Latte, a blue-and-pink drink made with ingredients including cold-pressed ginger, lemon juice, dates, blue-green algae and vanilla bean but with no coffee or milk, in December. It applied to register the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January.
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“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,” the lawsuit claims.
After Starbucks released its Unicorn Frappuccino for a limited run from April 19 to 23, customers began assuming The End’s product was a knockoff, and it was reduced to an “also ran” on social media and online publications, the lawsuit says.
Josh Schiller of the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm in New York said the lawsuit was filed to “protect a local business from having its valuable intellectual property taken by a global corporation.”
Starbucks said it believes the lawsuit has no merit.
“The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino blended beverage was inspired by the fun, spirited and colorful unicorn-themed food and drinks that have been trending in social media,” Starbucks said in a statement.
Owners of The End are asking the court to, among other things, order Starbucks to turn over all its profits from sales of the Unicorn Frappuccino, and to bar the coffee giant from ever using the “Unicorn Frappuccino” name again.