Business Archives - Morris Law Center

Dumb Starbucks – Fair Use And Parody Law

It’s hard out there for small businesses these days. Especially for new pop-up coffee shops. How can they expect to compete with coffee moguls like Starbucks? Well, here’s one idea: don’t compete. Why not use what already works? That was the idea behind “Dumb Starbucks” — a small coffee shop that opened its doors for business in 2014. Their model was simple: use the exact same logo and branding as Starbucks so people would walk in thinking it was just another branch of the well-established chain. To any sane person this might seem like a one-way ticket to a fat lawsuit. But under the legal principles of Fair Use, Dumb Starbucks was confident they could get away with the impossible.

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