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Artist Sues Starbucks for $750,000 for Allegedly Stealing Her Designs The muralist says that after a potential deal with the coffee giant fell through, Starbucks designed cups inspired by her art anyway.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This artist claims Starbucks copied her work to sell mini Frappuccinos.

Mural painter Maya Hayuk is suing Starbucks for $750,000 for copyright penalties and cash damages after the coffee company allegedly knocked off her work, reports the New York Post.

Hayuk says she turned down a project with Starbucks shortly after 72andSunny, the company's ad agency, reached out to her last October. However, when she saw Starbucks' mini Frappuccino campaign, launched in May, she was struck by elements that were similar to paintings that had attracted Starbucks' interest.

Related: Art or Theft? Famous Artist Sells Instagram Shots for $100,000.

Hayuk's paintings and murals utilize vivid colors, often arranged in abstract geometric patterns. Starbucks' recent mini Frappuccino cup design features bright, radiating colors, in tones that Hayuk says mirror shades she used in a series of five paintings.

"We are aware a complaint has been filed, and we are investigating the allegation," Starbucks spokesperson Jamie Riley told Entrepreneur.

For creative entrepreneurs, copyright lawsuits can be common. Often, smaller players are forced to deal with larger organizations or even better-known artists who have copied their designs. If you're an entrepreneur in this position, here are some ways to fight back.

Related: As Facebook Video Swells, YouTube Creators Cry Foul Over Copyright Infringement

Kate Taylor

Staff Writer. Covers franchise-related trends and topics.

Kate Taylor is a staff writer covering franchises for Entrepreneur.com. Related areas of interest include chain restaurants, franchisee profiles and food trends. Get in touch with tips and feedback via email at ktaylor@entrepreneur.com or on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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