Starbucks Suing Thai Vendor ‘Starbung’ for Obvious Reasons

The coffee giant is suing owner of the Bangkok coffee stall for $9,600

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Stefan Wermuth / REUTERS

As if Starbucks is not reaping enough profits worldwide, the coffee giant is concerned with a Bangkok street vendor whose logo is a little bit too familiar.

The U.S.-based company is suing 43-year-old Damrong Maslae, who owns Starbung, a Thai coffee stall that bears a green and white logo with stars in the same position as the original Starbucks insignia as well as a white figure similar to the corporate mermaid made so popular by the global coffee house.

Starbucks sent a cease-and-desist letter in October of last year but Maslae and his brother ignored  the warning and continued to use the copycat logo on its products and t-shirts. Now Starbucks is suing them for a mere $9,600 and a 7.5 percent annual interest in a monthly installment of around $963 until Starbung nixes the logo.

But Maslae is not backing down. He responded by offering to sell Starbung for $100,000.

“I will fight them to the end,” he told the Guardian.

The U.S.-based firm said the logo confuses customers, and may have them think they’re buying Starbucks instead of the local java while Maslae insists that the emblem was not influenced by Starbucks but rather his religion, Islam.

Okay sure.

6 comments
JenniferTu
JenniferTu

I understand you need an attention-getter introduction, however this piece is presented in a very bias perspective. After looking up "Starbung" logo I understand the reason to file lawsuit. If Starbucks was the small business suing a larger more successful company for stealing their logo/identity then we'd all be cheering for Starbucks. Starbucks should not be criticized for it's success, the company deserves the same protection from the law regardless of their profits. 

ÜzeyirVelizade
ÜzeyirVelizade

Everything is ok with this post but the last words made me feel that they are mocking Islam...

JohnHorn
JohnHorn

NelOxcampo - click the 'Guardian' link, pictures are there.

NelOxcampo
NelOxcampo

Dear Time magazine.
You amongst all people know that a picture is worth a thousand words.

JoeyM
JoeyM

@ÜzeyirVelizade  

I guess it would be best if we never mentioned the word "Islam" or any related words ever again. As we can see from your post, Muslims tend to get it wrong. Imagine the sentence to be: " [...] and may have them think they’re buying Starbucks instead of the local java while Maslae insists that the emblem was not influenced by Starbucks but rather his religion, Christendom." Still so bad?

Cheers