New York City cafe says Starbucks stole its unicorn drink

Randall Padilla
May 6, 2017

There's nothing rare about Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino- in fact the coffee chain ripped off the idea for the colorful drink from a Brooklyn cafe, the hipster shop claims in a new $10 million trademark infringement lawsuit.

Montauk Juice Factory filed a trademark application for the Unicorn Latte on January 20 after the popularity of its drink soared, accounting for about a quarter of the store's sales since its launch, it said in the suit.

Starbucks spokesperson Jarryd Boyd said the company is aware of the lawsuit and called the claims meritless. Customers have even asked employees to make them a Unicorn Frappuccino. Per an accompanying press release, the beverage "starts with scoops of extra-dark cocoa blended with coffee, milk and ice, infused with cooling mint sugar crystals and cut with a layer of whipped cream".

In April, Starbucks launched the Unicorn Frappuccino, a drink that the suit alleges quickly became the "dominant "Unicorn" beverage overnight". This nearly identical drink was launched in December 2016, four months before Starbucks released their frappuccino.

A girl sips on a Unicorn Frappuccino beverage at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Austin, Texas, April 21, 2017.

As of publishing, the Instagram hashtag #unicornfrappuccino has been tagged almost 160,000 posts, showing off the pink, fuchsia and blue hues of the Starbucks drink. Freeman says that the secret menu drink is essentially a Pokémon Go Frappuccino, a Vanilla Bean-based drink which was available for a limited time, without raspberry syrup. The Unicorn Frapp is a sweet liquid treat with pink and blue assets.

Attorney Josh Schiller of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP in New York City said he filed the lawsuit on behalf of his clients "to protect a local business from having its valuable intellectual property taken by a global corporation".

It reported that the two drinks' similarities - both in name and appearance - were likely to make it hard for consumers to tell them apart. The End is suing for an undisclosed amount and a public apology.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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