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Bangkok's "Starbung" coffee vendor defies multinational

Bangkok - A Thai coffee vendor refused Wednesday to drop his "Starbung Coffee" logo, defying legal threats by US multinational Starbucks.

Last week, a Thai law firm filed a complaint on behalf of Starbucks Coffee Company against Damrong Maslae, 44, for not complying with an injunction issued in 2012 to remove the "Starbung Coffee" logo from his sidewalk stall in the Thai capital.

The international coffee giant has demanded compensation of300,000 baht (9,700 dollars), plus 30,000 baht (970 dollars) a monthin legal fees. An initial hearing has been set for November 4.

"I will fight the case," Damrong told dpa. "I may lose, becauseStarbucks is a big company with a lot of money, but I have alreadywon my case in the eyes of society," he said.

"My customers, both Thais and foreigners, have given me a lot ofmoral support," he said. "One client gave me 1,000 baht (33 dollars)to help fight my case and yesterday another paid 500 baht for a cupof coffee and told me to keep the change."

Damrong, a Muslim from Krabi province in southern Thailand,insisted that his green-and-white logo, which depicts a Muslim man atits centre with crescent moons on the side, was inspired by Islam, not Starbucks.



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