Gregory P. Sitrick quoted in article “Dumb Starbucks May Need Really Smart Lawyers”Hollywood LAist 02/10/14
It may not be easy for Dumb Starbucks, a parody Starbucks coffee shop that opened its doors on Friday in Los Feliz, to stay open. Starbucks has spoken out about their patented trademark but attorneys say Dumb Starbucks will likely face an "uphill battle" to stay open.
Greg Sitrick, an intellectual property attorney at Quarles & Brady, tells LAist that although Dumb Starbucks has an argument for parody law, they will most likely be facing some major challenges. Dumb Starbucks makes the claim that they are protected under the same parody law Weird Al Yankovic is protected under for his parody songs. However, Sitrick says Yankovic asks for permission to create his songs and at the end of the day, there is no confusion as to whether or not he's making a parody. It's a different story for Dumb Starbucks.
Sitrick questions if someone who drives on the road past Dumb Starbucks would immediately recognize the shop as something other than an actual Starbucks store.
"They have an argument and that argument has played out in plenty of other cases," Sitrick says. "I just think they have an uphill battle because they are in the same space. Their [logo is] so close to the logo Starbucks is using and it's difficult to tell what the parody is."
Originally published in Hollywood LAist, February 10, 2014