Unicorn-Drink Lawsuit Is Settled -- WSJ

By Corinne RameyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (September 6, 2017).

Starbucks Corp. and a Brooklyn cafe settled a trademark-infringement lawsuit involving unicorn-themed drinks, according to court documents.

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In May, Montauk Juice Factory Inc., the parent company of cafe the End Brooklyn in the Williamsburg neighborhood, sued Starbucks, alleging the coffee chain infringed on its trademark and confused its customers with a drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino. Starbucks denied its drink was inspired by the cafe's similarly named one, the Unicorn Latte.

Montauk Juice had asked for $10 million in damages in the lawsuit. Court documents didn't specify a settlement amount.

The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the cafe is barred from suing Starbucks over the drink in the future, said documents filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.

In a statement, Starbucks said: "The Action has been amicably resolved on confidential terms." A lawyer for Montauk Juice said the parties had reached a confidential settlement and "we are pleased to be able to move on."

The End said it began selling its Unicorn Latte in December. The ingredients included cold-pressed ginger, lemon juice, dates and cashews, according to the suit. It also contained a blue-green algae harvested from an Oregon lake, the cafe's co-founder said.In legal documents, Montauk Juice said the $9 drink accounted for 25% of the End's revenue.

Starbucks's beverage, which it sold for several days in April, included "a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle," according to a news release. Starbucks said its drink was inspired by unicorn-themed food and drinks popular on social media.

The beverage is no longer sold in Starbucks stores. The Unicorn Latte is still on the menu at the End. Neither drink contained coffee.

"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 plaintiffs and confusing their customers," the lawsuit said.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 02:48 ET (06:48 GMT)