LOS ANGELES -- Art project? Marketing stunt? A new store in California called "Dumb Starbucks" is giving away free coffee.
Starbucks says it's trying to contact the people responsible for the store, which set up shop in Los Angeles this weekend.
A Feb. 7 tweet under the handle @dumbstarbucks announced the store's opening at 1802 Hillhurst Avenue in Los Angeles.
Photos on social media showed a store that appeared to be a Starbucks with its familiar green awning and mermaid logo but with the word 'dumb' attached to its sign. The Seattle-based coffee chain says its legal team is working on identifying the store's owner.
"We are aware of this store, and it is not affiliated with Starbucks," spokeswoman Laurel Harper said in an email Monday. "We are evaluating next steps, and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark."
She adds that the vast majority of trademark disputes "are handled informally," suggesting the company will not need to take legal action.