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Starbung’s v Starbucks settlement reached

In October last year Mr. Damrong, whose coffee stall operates in front o the Baan Pra Arthit building near the Khao San Road, an area of Bangkok popular with tourists, was instructed to stop using his logo that looked very similar to the coffee giant’s Starbucks.

Mr. Damrong maintained that his logo was designed in accordance with his Muslim belief, the logo contains Islamic symbols such as the star, moon and a halal stamp. He said that his company name Starbung was derived from the Malaysian word for brother and a common Thai slang for Muslims. He insisted that the prominent green background represented a religious colour in Islamic belief. He also dismissed claims that he had attempted to extort THB 3,000,000 from Starbucks and explained that he actually said he would gladly sell the stall, along with the logo to Starbucks.

StarbungStarbucks demanded THB 300,000 baht compensation on the grounds that Damrong had violated their copyright trademark and that had damaged the trust and loyalty their customers had towards the brand.

However at the beginning of November Damrong changed his logo from Starbung Coffee to Stylebung Tea Coffee and slightly changed the colour scheme. Although he confirmed that he would not pay the THB 300,000 as he has six children to raise and the profit on each cup of coffee he makes is only twenty to thirty baht. He said “my annual income is much less than Starbucks daily earnings”.

It is now being reported that Damrong has met the coffee giant half way in an out of court settlement. He told reporters they have agreed to drop the demand for compensation and I have agreed to stop using a circular sign for my coffee shop logo. He has also now once again changed the name of his stall this time to Bung Tears, his new logo shows a man in a Muslim cap crying.

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