Coffee giant Starbucks sues Bangkok street vendor

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Starbung coffeeMulti-billion coffee house chain Starbucks has been suing a humble Bangkok street vendor for almost $10,000 plus legal fees for using a slightly modified Starbucks logo on his street cart from which he sells coffee.

Starbucks complained that the vendor has designed his own trademark in a way that is similar to Starbucks, featuring a round logo and dark green background with a human figure and named his mobile shop “Starbung” written in capital letters and placed in the same position as the Starbucks name on its own logo. He is also using the logo for his clothing and paper wrappers for coffee cups, the company’s lawyers said.

Starbucks filed a petition with the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court, seeking the arrest of the vendor Damrong Maslae and his younger brother Damras Maslae, as well as financial compensation, Thai online portal ASTV Manager reported.

Starbucks argued that the use of the similar logo on the push cart  “could make the public misunderstand” and believe that the cart was a Starbucks outlet.

The vendor defended himself by saying that his logo represented a figure of a man which represents him inside the green circle instead of Starbucks’ iconic mermaid figure, and the logo also had a star, a crescent and a halal mark. The green colour derives from his Islamic religion, he added.

Damrong said that if Starbucks wanted him to stop using the mark, he would sell his business to the company for 3 million baht ($97,000). As for the requested compensation, he said he had no money to pay it anyway.

Starbucks, which operates 171 stores in Thailand, had a revenue of $13.3 billion in 2012 and a net profit of $1.38 billion. The revenue of Damrong’s coffee cart business is unknown, but should be around $36,000 a year assuming that he sells an average of 100 cups a a day which are priced 30 baht ($0.97) each.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Multi-billion coffee house chain Starbucks has been suing a humble Bangkok street vendor for almost $10,000 plus legal fees for using a slightly modified Starbucks logo on his street cart from which he sells coffee.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Starbung coffeeMulti-billion coffee house chain Starbucks has been suing a humble Bangkok street vendor for almost $10,000 plus legal fees for using a slightly modified Starbucks logo on his street cart from which he sells coffee.

Starbucks complained that the vendor has designed his own trademark in a way that is similar to Starbucks, featuring a round logo and dark green background with a human figure and named his mobile shop “Starbung” written in capital letters and placed in the same position as the Starbucks name on its own logo. He is also using the logo for his clothing and paper wrappers for coffee cups, the company’s lawyers said.

Starbucks filed a petition with the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court, seeking the arrest of the vendor Damrong Maslae and his younger brother Damras Maslae, as well as financial compensation, Thai online portal ASTV Manager reported.

Starbucks argued that the use of the similar logo on the push cart  “could make the public misunderstand” and believe that the cart was a Starbucks outlet.

The vendor defended himself by saying that his logo represented a figure of a man which represents him inside the green circle instead of Starbucks’ iconic mermaid figure, and the logo also had a star, a crescent and a halal mark. The green colour derives from his Islamic religion, he added.

Damrong said that if Starbucks wanted him to stop using the mark, he would sell his business to the company for 3 million baht ($97,000). As for the requested compensation, he said he had no money to pay it anyway.

Starbucks, which operates 171 stores in Thailand, had a revenue of $13.3 billion in 2012 and a net profit of $1.38 billion. The revenue of Damrong’s coffee cart business is unknown, but should be around $36,000 a year assuming that he sells an average of 100 cups a a day which are priced 30 baht ($0.97) each.

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