In the lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court, The End Brooklyn accuses Starbucks of copying the idea for the colorful concoction from the local coffee shop. The End’s Unicorn Lattes allegedly debuted in December 2016, months before Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino hit stores on April 19. The Williamsburg café claims that customers now assume its Unicorn Lattes are a “copy-cat or knockoff” of Starbucks’ drink.
“The size of and scope of Starbucks’ product launch was designed so that the Unicorn Frappuccino would eclipse the Unicorn Latte in the market, thereby harming [The End] and confusing their customers,” the lawsuit says, per The New York Post. “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.”
Neither of the unicorn beverages contain coffee. The End’s version contains “cold-pressed ginger, lemon juice, dates, cashews, blendedwith additional healthy, dried ingredients such as maca root, blue-green algae and vanilla bean,” according to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Starbucks’ Frapp is “a concoction of milk, artificial sweeteners, color additives, and pinches of fruit juice concentrate for flavor."
The End applied to trademark the Unicorn Latte name in January, but the application is still pending. The local shop is seeking unspecified compensation and a public apology from Starbucks.
A spokesperson for Starbucks told The New York Daily News in a statement, “We are aware of the claims and believe they are without 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. The beverage was offered for a limited time in April and is no longer available in our stores."
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