No. 6

A Spree of Trademark Infringement

Copying a logo, shop layout, cup design, menu boards and even staff uniforms of a worldwide coffee chain would be a blatant breach of copyright leading to a costly and lengthy court case, you would think?

This is what you would have assumed when ‘Dumb Starbucks’ opened in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Almost everything within the store was exactly the same as in a Starbucks store, but with the word ‘Dumb’ in front of it. However, this was not a serious attempt to open a legitimate competing store and, after only a few days, comedian Nathan Fielder claimed credit for opening this store as nothing more than a joke!

Further, the shop was shut down just a few days after opening by the Los Angeles County Board of Health for not having the correct operating license. As this was the case, Starbucks themselves decided not to take any action. However, if brought to court, this could have had some interesting infringement, dilution and parody arguments!

To find out more about Dumb Starbucks and why Starbucks chose to not take any IP action, please click here.