Hugh Paxton’s Blog has to admire the ambition (not to mention stupidity) of road side coffee maker, Damrong Maslae. He decided to call his stall “Starbung” and to attract the crowds designed a logo that bore an uncanny resemblance to that of Starbucks.
“Amazingly similar” in fact according to newshounds who gravitated to Starbung in the hopes of finding a potential David and Goliath legal story.
Starbucks asked the owner of Starbung to remove the sign. A few Bangkok journos followed the drama that ensued after Darong refused. Starbucks upped the ante, stopped asking and “demanded” the sign go (but seemed quite happy not to mess with the Starbung brand name, which after all is no more ridiculous than many a Bangkok street stall name). Again Damrong stuck to his guns. The sign would stay.
Goliath thumped his massive corporate chest, hired a lawyer and then threatened to sue. David reached for his slingshot and let loose with an offer that Starbucks couldn’t refuse!
Starbung would relinquish both sign and stall if Starbucks bought both off Damrong for three million Baht. I’ve not been following the exchange rates recently but that’s roughly in the region of $US100,000.
This was an offer Starbucks refused.
“I can serve a jail term if I have to,” stated Damrong, currently facing the Intellectual Property Departent and its court.
But for the media the show was moving from heroics to farce and although Damrong’s photo appeared in the Sunday edition of the Bangkok Post it was rather small. And it came next to the “Losers” column.
David has I regret slingshot himself in the foot and is already yesterday’s news.