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'Starbung' coffee vendor defies multinational giant

A Thai coffee vendor yesterday refused to drop his "Starbung Coffee" logo, defying legal threats by Starbucks.

Last week, a Thai law firm filed a complaint on behalf of Starbucks Coffee Co against Damrong Maslae, 44, for not complying with an injunction issued last year for him to remove the logo from his sidewalk stall in Bangkok.

The US multinational has demanded compensation of Bt300,000 plus Bt30,000 a month in legal fees. An initial hearing has been set for November 4.

"I will fight the case," the Muslim from Krabi said. "I may lose, because Starbucks is a rich big company, but I have already won my case in the eyes of society," he said.

"My customers have given me a lot of moral support. One client even gave me Bt1,000 to help fight my case."

Damrong insisted his green-and-white logo, which depicts a Muslim man at its centre with crescent moons on the side, was inspired by Islam, not Starbucks.


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