Mexico 1, Starbucks 0

Starbucks has agreed to pay intellectual property rights to the Mexican government for unauthorized use of Aztec images on a set of mugs.

The images were of the Aztec calendar stone, a basalt monolith found under Mexico City’s central square in the 18th century, and the Temple of the Moon in Teotihuacan.

Starbucks Mexico said Thursday that the supplier of the mugs had sought approval for the images from government archaeological agency since 2008, but had failed to receive it.

“Starbucks Mexico assumes responsibility … and is prepared to pay the amount corresponding to the use of these images,” a statement said, apologizing for “any misunderstanding.”

I’m pretty sure you don’t get to use images just because the rights holders don’t answer your queries, and I’m pretty sure Starbucks is aware of that.

Anyway, the mugs have been removed from the shelves for now while they settle the amount to be paid. A decision is expected next week. All that’s certain is that they’re going to make them pay.

Aztec calendar stone Pyramid of the Moon