Fancy a brew in Dumb Starbucks?

10 February 2014

There's a new cafe in Los Angeles called 'Dumb Starbucks Coffee' which uses the same logo as the infamous coffee behemoth and, remarkably, the owners think they're not breaking the law in doing so.

dumb starbucks

The shop say they're a parody, so they're allowed to poke fun at Starbucks and they also sell CDs selling 'dumb jazz standards' and 'some dumb Norah Jones duets' and you can gargle a 'dumb Venti'.

As jokes go, it is rather one-dimensional. For anyone confused, they have a fact sheet.

"Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorize as a work of parody art. So, in the eyes of the law, our 'coffee shop' is actually an art gallery and the 'coffee' you’re buying is considered the art. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!"

dumb starbucks 2

The way around this is that the cafe doesn't charge for the drinks, so with no commercial gain to be had, it can certainly work under parody law, protected by the First Amendment.

We await Starbucks' lawyers.


  • Mr. P.
    I seem to remember there was a pub in Australia that allowed smoking on the premises as it was a performance of "interpretive theatre", and the public were invited to join in the work.
  • Ali B.
  • Chewbacca
    ^a fine example of a cool story, Bro.
  • Ivor
    Re: the fact sheet ... Copyright and Trade Mark rights are not one and the same thing. Does 'fair use' apply to Trade Marks too?

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