Artist Claims Starbucks Stole Her Work for New Packaging Design

Just at the start of this month, and heading internationally between now and March of next year, Starbucks has rolled out single-cup Keurig packs, licensed with the company’s brand to help tap itself into that market worth billions. But have they also just walked into a big design lawsuit along the way? Hyperallergic reports that Los Angeles-based artist Ophelia Chong discovered that the packaging on the coffee giant’s french roast version of its new self-brew packs looks too close for comfort to her own work, which has been viewed thousands of times on Flick and variations of which have been seen in galleries and advertisements. While it’s feasible to believe it’s mere coincidence, given that the image on the Starbucks box is in a form of what we’d describe as a familiar “burning flame”, the coloring and curved shape of the individual fire bits, do make it clearly convincing enough that perhaps Chong has a case here. According to the site, a case is what she seems to want, as they report that she “isn’t going to take this lying down” and that “she’s retained a lawyer.” Here’s a bit about why the artist believes it’s outright theft:

The artist says her book, containing her images and style, have been show to all the ad agencies by her reps, so she doesn’t understand why they simply didn’t hire her rather than rip her off. ”It looks exactly like what I create,” she says.