San Diego - Evolution Fast Foods LLC announced last week that it is suing coffee giant Starbucks for trademark infringement. The case, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, accuses Starbucks of trademark infringement, contributory infringement and unfair competition. In its court documents, Evolution Fast Foods claims that Starbucks’ new Evolution Fresh logo will likely cause confusion among consumers because it is substantially similar to its own logo. The lawsuit specifies similarities between the Evolution Fast Foods and new Evolution Fresh logos, such as the use of a lower case “e” in close proximity to upper case block letters. In addition, the two brand names are just too similar in a marketplace where the two products could be located side by side if plans by both parties continue to progress as planned.
The mega-coffee chain opened two Evolution Fresh stores earlier this year in Washington State and plans to expand its juice and health food offshoot to California in the fall. The Evolution Fresh juices are currently being distributed in grocery stores and a few carefully selected Starbucks locations. Starbucks hopes to create a nationwide presence in the health food industry by adding more healthy alternatives to its current offerings. However, this is the exact reason that Evolution Fast Foods initiated its lawsuit. The San Diego based restaurant chain claims that confusion among customers will only increase as the two brands compete in the same markets with the same customers. Moreover, the similar logos might create problems as well, causing vegan and vegetarian customers to believe Evolution Fast Foods is endorsing Evolution Fresh options, which are not known to be vegetarian or vegan.
Evolution Fast Foods LLC created its business to capitalize on the burgeoning healthy and organic fast foods industry. It serves a number of alternatives to typical fast food favorites like vegetarian hamburgers, wraps, pizzas, tacos, shakes and smoothies. Nearly everything it offers is made from scratch, without the use of chemical preservatives, dyes, white flour, refined sugar or animal products. The menu has lots of alternatives for people who want vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, raw, and non-gmo substitutes. Unlike many Vegan and Vegetarian eateries, Evolution also offers a diverse dessert menu with such favorites as soy soft-serve ice cream, raw soft-serve ice cream, European-style cakes and pies. All Evolution desserts are made from scratch using premium, vegan ingredients.