Last week, Starbucks sued Thai street vendor Damrong Maslae and his brother for 300,000 baht after the pair ignored the company's cease and desist letter requesting they refrain from using their trademark. They continue to deny their logo bears any resemblance to the Starbucks emblem and they are willing to do whatever is necessary to fight the suit.
"I won't run away, nor will I be able to pay a fine. But I can serve a jail term if I have to," said Maslae.
The father of six claims the logo was designed by a friend. If found guilty of copying the Starbucks trademark, he faces two years in jail and a fine of up to 200,000 baht.
Starbucks generates revenue of over 400,000 billion baht a year. and
"I won't remove my trademark logo or change my name no matter what," said Maslae.
The court hearing, which is scheduled to begin November 4, has divided followers into two camps; those who feel Starbucks should stop proceedings and those who believe the corporation has every right to protect it's trademark. I prefer the later category.
What do you think?
For the record, I think the court should make an example of the man and throw the book at him and force him to stop using the logo. His logo clearly resembles the Starbucks logo and to allow him to continue using it gives free passage to others to copy the logo's of other corporations. There are laws for a reason and Thais have snubbed intellectual property laws for far too long.
In a move that has outsiders shaking their heads in disbelief, the vendor offered to sell his business to Starbucks for the paltry sum of $100,000. He sells approximately 150 cups of coffee a day.
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