While Starbucks remains one of the main pushers of America's favourite psychoactive drug, they have just won a decisive battle against the creators of a copycat bong used to smoke America's other favourite psychoactive drug.
In what probably started off as a great conversation while baked out of their gourds, Oregon designer James Landgraf and bong makers Hitman Glass teamed up to make a Frappuccino-inspired pipe called the "Dabuccino." The clear bong features a green straw (cough, pipe), a dome top, and a siren on the cover, all signatures of the Starbucks brand—except that the siren has weed in her hair instead of her usual crown.
This was enough for the coffee giant to lawyer up, and in June, Landgraf and Hitman Glass were each hit with a trademark dilution, trademark infringement, and copyright infringement lawsuit. (A closer look at the design might also temps legal team at Diva Cup, as the "lid" of the Dabuccino is almost identical to the reusable menstrual cup.)
According to Eater, Starbucks alleged that the creators of the Dabuccino "willfully intended to create an association with the Starbucks Marks and to capitalise upon the success and popularity of the Starbucks Marks to sell [their] products," resulting in trademark dilution that "has caused and will continue to cause irreparable injury and damage to Starbucks Corp.'s business, reputation, and goodwill."
Obviously, a publicly traded coffee company does not want to be associated with bong water, especially when it isn't making any money off of the use of its intellectual property.
"We are pleased with the court's decision," Starbucks said in a statement. "Starbucks has made significant investments to develop our brand and intellectual property over the past 45 years. We have an obligation to protect our intellectual property from infringement in order to retain our exclusive rights to it."
It's worth noting that the decision against Landgraf was a default judgement. In other words, he did not respond to a summons or appear in court when he was supposed to, and, as a result, the case was automatically ruled in favour of Starbucks. He now owes Starbucks $410,580 in damages, while the separate lawsuit against Hitman is ongoing.
Hopefully, if Hitman does show up to court, it won't be after hitting the Dabuccino.