MoMA suing cafe MoMaCha for trademark infringement
The Museum of Modern Art is suing NoHo cafe MoMaCha, Bowery Boogie reports, with MoMa alleging that the cafe is “infringing its famous trademarked name and trade dress that date to at least 1967 and appear in exhibition communications, retail goods and its restaurant The Modern.” MoMa also says MoMaCha’s logo, which you can see above, is too similar to their own. More from the complaint:
Defendants’ willful intent here is clear as there is no possibility that they were not aware of MoMA or its famous MOMA mark prior to starting their business earlier this month…They are blatantly attempting to take advantage of the MOMA marks, which are unquestionably famous within the modern and contemporary art space, to promote their newly launched art gallery and café business — perhaps even hoping for some free publicity when MoMA inevitably takes additional steps to stop this blatant infringement.
Representatives from MoMaCha, who sell Macha powdered green tea, tell Law 360 it is not trying to compete with MoMa:
Our platform is a hybrid: matcha bar, flexible exhibition space, and all around community that is organically connected to the arts in countless ways but never have we represented ourselves as having any affiliation to the MoMA, nor are we interested in upholding the responsibility of such…We’re not only working with artists, we’re activating our space with set designers, pastry chefs, schools and all around people who have a story.
While we are no legal experts, it’s hard to not see similarities. What do you think?