Starbucks Threatens Local Coffee Shop Over Logo Design

In case you’re tempted to add a little green circle in your logo design, you should think twice before doing it.

Coffee giant Starbucks has issued a warning to a local shop in Mt. Clemens, Michigan for allegedly infringing its design trademark. In a legal letter issued by a legal firm on behalf of Starbucks, it claims that the logo design of Conga Cofee & Tea has a “striking resemblance” to the famous coffee shop and it is “likely to cause consumers to think that Conga is an authorized licensee of Starbucks.”

According to the Conga’s owner Michael Dregiewicz, the estimated expenses for changing its logo would amount to at least $5,000. He would have to change everything from the napkins to the store signage.

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While Starbucks’ popular logo shows a siren in the middle of the green circle, Conga depicts an elephant inside the green circle. Starbucks is no stranger to trademark infringement. You might remember our post in May about its legal scuffle against Shanghai Xingbake Café in China.

Although it’s not clear who’s right in this issue and people in the blogoshepere have contrasting opinions, what is very clear in this debate are these:

  1. A professional logo design backed with a solid legal research will save your small business from any infringement and expenses.
  2. Branding is a necessity even for small businesses. There are still some entrepreneurs who remain hesitant to allocate money on branding campaigns without realizing its benefits over the long run.
  3. It is your responsibility to protect your logo design, brands, company slogan, and other marketing materials with trademarks to avoid any legal battles in the future

Via Starbucks Gossip