Public Relations

Brooklyn coffeeshop sues Starbucks over Unicorn Frappuccino

By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

May 5, 2017 | 3 min read

If you thought that colorful Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino you were drinking was an original concoction, you may just be wrong, according to a Brooklyn coffeeshop that is suing the coffee giant.

The shop, called The End, with its parent company Montauk Juice Factory, has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks, in which it claims that the idea is confusing to customers because it has its own Unicorn Latte, according to a story in the Business Insider.

The End apparently brought out its Unicorn Latte in December of 2016. It’s a frothy blended beverage made with cashews, dates, ginger, blue-green algae and other ingredients, topped with foam and colored stars. It became one of the shop’s most popular beverages, making up 25% of The End's revenue since January and getting plenty of media coverage, so Montauk Juice Factory decided to file a trademark application for the drink in late January, according to the story.

Unicorn Frappuccino

Unicorn Frappuccino

Unicorn Latte

Starbucks didn’t launch its Unicorn Frappuccino until April. The suit, therefore, claims that the Starbucks version became the “dominant Unicorn beverage overnight." It claims that The End’s customers believed that the Starbucks version predated the Unicorn Latte and confused the drinks and their respective origins.

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Reads the lawsuit: “This widespread confusion was made worse by the derision and ridicule that Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino encountered upon launch. For example, People Magazine broadly proclaimed that Katy Perry, a world-renowned recording artist and marketing icon, 'Spits Out Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino After One Sip.'"

The End and Montauk are asking Starbucks to fork over all of its “ill-gotten” profits from the drink and pay for damages to the Unicorn Latte brand. They also want Starbucks to cease and desist advertising of the Unicorn Frappuccino and publish a statement “correcting the confusion."

According to the story, Starbucks says the claims are without merit and that the Unicorn Frappuccino was inspired by other fun unicorn-themed foods and items on social media. There was no comment from any unicorns.

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