This artist claims Starbucks copied her work to sell mini Frappuccinos.
Mural painter Maya Hayuk is suing Starbucks for $750,000 for copyright penalties and cash damages after the coffee company allegedly knocked off her work, reports the New York Post.
Hayuk says she turned down a project with Starbucks shortly after 72andSunny, the company's ad agency, reached out to her last October. However, when she saw Starbucks' mini Frappuccino campaign, launched in May, she was struck by elements that were similar to paintings that had attracted Starbucks' interest.
Hayuk's paintings and murals utilize vivid colors, often arranged in abstract geometric patterns. Starbucks' recent mini Frappuccino cup design features bright, radiating colors, in tones that Hayuk says mirror shades she used in a series of five paintings.
Ta-dahhh! Meet the Mini Frappuccino! pic.twitter.com/N55ZvBmwU9— Frappuccino (@frappuccino) May 11, 2015
"We are aware a complaint has been filed, and we are investigating the allegation," Starbucks spokesperson Jamie Riley told Entrepreneur.
For creative entrepreneurs, copyright lawsuits can be common. Often, smaller players are forced to deal with larger organizations or even better-known artists who have copied their designs. If you're an entrepreneur in this position, here are some ways to fight back.