Damrong Maslae and his brother Damras are two independent Thai coffee vendors who have recently become caught up in what has been labelled a ‘David vs Goliath’ battle after their company Starbung was sued by Starbucks for trademark infringement. While the case has now been settled, it highlights the difficulties facing trademark counsel who are concerned that certain enforcement actions could lead to negative publicity.

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RE: Starbucks falls prey to accusations of bullying in trademark dispute


Thanks for the comment. As noted in the blog, Starbucks ramped up its enforcement efforts after previous attempts failed to obtain a response, and after the injunction was ignored. I think this has been missed in subsequent media coverage which has taken the 'big v small' hook and run with the bully narrative. For us it illustrates the problem facing trademark counsel as legitimate enforcement actions are easily painted as bullying when this is not necessarily the case.

Trevor Little, World Trademark Review on 15 Nov 2013 @ 14:20

RE: Starbucks falls prey to accusations of bullying in trademark dispute

Trademark rights are hard-earned assets and when someone blatantly rips them off, what else is the brand owner to do but pounce on them? I haven't seen the evidence in this case but it Starbung was using the Starbuck's logo, or something similar to it, one would think the brothers knew what they were doing was wrong. I don't think it's bullying to protect something valuable to you, especially if you've already gone to the time and expense of obtaining an injunction and the the defendants in the case are not complying with it.

Eric T Fingerhut, Dykema Gossett PLLC on 15 Nov 2013 @ 14:11

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