Apparently “unicorn” food is a trend. Yes, according to Eater, it’s a “thing” on social media that gained popularity last fall after Cosmopolitan published recipes for a unicorn cake, a unicorn milkshake, and “unicorn-inspired” ice cream. And then lots of restaurants and bakeries started making unicorn-themed food too. Think rainbows, bright colors . . . lots of pink and blue.
Coffee chain Starbucks picked up on the unicorn trend and started selling the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino a few weeks ago. You may have missed out on it because the pink and blue sensation was available at certain Starbucks locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico only through April 23.
But a Brooklyn, New York café called The End didn’t miss the launch of Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino. That’s because The End debuted its own Unicorn Latte back in December 2016 and now its owner, Montauk Juice Factory Inc. has filed a trademark infringement suit against Starbucks claiming the company “infringed on Plaintiffs’ distinctive and famous trademark in the name UNICORN LATTE, a name that Plaintiffs have used since last year to refer to their own popular colorful beverage.”
Montauk Juice Factory applied for a Unicorn Latte trademark on January 20, 2017. In the lawsuit, the company claims that coverage of The End’s Unicorn Latte in The New York Times and The Huffington Post, among others, “made the Unicorn Latte name and product famous” and the launch of the Starbucks’ product confused its customers and caused damage to its business and trademark.” The owners of The End told ABC News that Starbucks “drowned out the fame that any coffee shop in Brooklyn could obtain.”
You can check out pictures of The End’s Unicorn Latte on its Facebook page. The café is seeking damages, a permanent injunction to stop Starbucks from infringing the Unicorn Latte trademark, along with a public apology from Starbucks.
Starbucks continues to roll out more limited edition lattes — like the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino — and it has brought back the S’mores Frappuccino. The New York Post reports that a Starbucks spokesperson said: “We know about the claims and we believe they are without merit.”