Dumb Starbucks Brews up Trouble: Forced to Shut Shop, Real Starbucks Contemplates Lawsuit

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By Johnlee Varghese | February 11, 2014 6:50 PM EST

The hype around the Dumb Starbucks store in Los Feliz, LA, refuses to die down. The parody coffee shop has now been shut down by the health department, while coffee chain giant, Starbucks is expected file a lawsuit for violations. 


Dumb Starbuck in Los Feliz,Los Angeles/Twitter

Additionally, it has now been revealed that the parody art shop that sells coffee is a reality show stunt by comedian Nathan Fielder of the Comedy Central TV show - "Nathan for You."

In a recent development, the Los Angeles County Health Department has issued closure notification to Dumb Starbucks for operating without a health permit. In a report, The LA Times informed that a sign has been posted "on the front window of the store on Hillhurst Avenue on Monday evening, saying it was closed for violations."

Twitter picture posted of long queue out Dumb Starbucks

Since Friday night, the social media has been abuzz with people looking up 'Dumb Starbucks.' The shop has attracted hundreds of customers and most of them are piqued by the 'Dumb' take on Starbucks. The number of twitter followers for Dumb Starbucks has now crossed 12,000. While the humor has been well received by the public, the largest coffee chain, Starbucks does not really seem thrilled by the Dumb Starbucks parody. The USA Today reported that the Starbucks is "evaluating next steps...," which possibly could hint that a legal suit is expected to follow. "While we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark," the report quoted a statement from Starbucks. 

The lawyers are expected to be looking at the extent of trademark infringement by the Dumb Starbucks, whose coffee menu too looks exactly the same as the original Starbucks. 

Dumb Starbucks Menu

Meanwhile, the shop claims that its name is perefectly legal under the 'parody law.' In its FAQs section, Dumb Starbucks states, "by adding 'dumb' we are technically making fun of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as 'fair use'. Fair use is a doctrine that permits use of copyrighted material in a parodical work without permission from the rights holder. It's the same law that allows Weird Al Yankovic to use the music from Michael Jackson's Beat It in his parody song 'Eat it.'"

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Dumb Starbuck in Los Feliz,Los Angeles/Twitter
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