An independent Brooklyn cafe is suing coffee giant Starbucks after claims they have ‘ripped off’ one of their products.
The End cafe, in New York, claims that Starbucks’ “Unicorn Frappuccino” a ‘rip-off’ of one of their beverages, the Unicorn Latte.
Starbucks began selling the unusual drink, containing turmeric, mango syrup and “sour blue powder” in April 2017.
But The End, in New York’s Williamsburg neighbourhood, began selling the “Unicorn Latte” in December 2016, the suit says.
According to reports, the purple iced drink topped with swirling cream has been a “successful and popular product”.
It has, in fact, made up 25% of The End’s revenue since January 2017.
Montauk Juice Factory, which owns the cafe, filed a trademark application for the beverage earlier this year.
In a new $10 million trademark infringement lawsuit, the hipster cafe says Starbucks stole the idea for the drink from them.
In taste, the drinks are said to differ, but according to Business Insider, the cafe claims that Starbucks’ Frappuccino is confusing customers.
The cafe owners say that it was actually their customers who assumed they were the ones serving a “copy-cat or knockoff”.
The suit says: “The size and scope of Starbucks’ product launch was designed so that the Unicorn Frappuccino would eclipse the Unicorn Latte.
“In addition to having a highly similar name, Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino shares visual similarities to the Unicorn Latte.
“Both were brightly coloured and featured the colours pink and blue prominently”.
The lawsuit demands that Starbucks give The End “ill-gotten” profits from the Unicorn Frappuccino and also pay for damages.
The cafe would also like Starbucks to publish a statement “correcting the confusion”.
But Starbucks, whose headquarters are in Washington, say the cafe’s claims are without merit.
A representative told Business Insider that the drink was, in fact, “inspired by the fun, spirited and colourful unicorn-themed food and drinks that have been trending in social media”.
Unicorn-based beverages are continuing to appear on other coffee shop menus across the US.