You’ve heard of coffee breath. A new lawsuit involves coffee lips. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
After drinking their morning brew, many reach for a breath mint to eliminate coffee breath, but there are those who like the lingering coffee flavor and it’s those folks whom a small California company believed would be a great market for the coffee-flavored lip balm it created and hoped to partner with Starbucks to produce. According to a lawsuit they just filed, Starbucks met with them and asked questions about the process and flavor possibilities, and then reached out to the company’s suppliers requesting prototypes.
A year later, Starbucks launched its own line of lip glosses, which the company claims it stole from their pitch, which Starbucks denies. The resolution remains to be seen, but it’s a good lesson for anyone pitching a product: be sure that anyone to whom you’re telling your great idea has signed a nondisclosure agreement that says they won’t take your idea or use it without compensating you before you spill the tea.