Global brand Starbucks Coffee has to be fuming mad or curious, at the very least, after a Los Angeles coffee shop named "Dumb Starbucks Coffee" opened last weekend.
The locals around the area were dumbfounded, but it did not stop some of them from queuing in for a dose of free "dumb coffee," served as a promo for opening day.
Everything found in the said establishment, including the logo, looks exactly like anything and everything that may be found in an authentic Starbucks shop, except that words and/or phrases of products and the like are affixed by the word "dumb."
Meanwhile, an unidentified Starbucks representative told The Wall Street Journal that they are "aware" of the existence of such shop and are "looking into it." They also stated that they are not any affiliated with the said store.
For starters, they handed out FAQ sheets to customers claiming, among others, that the use of the mentioned name falls well within the principle of "fair use," which allows a copyrighted work to be parodied.
However, the "fair use" doctrine is not without limitations.
In any case, it will be up to the courts to determine infringement, if any, should a case ensue.
— Mark McCune (@MarkMcCune) February 8, 2014