Everyman Espresso, the East Village and Soho coffee shops with fantastic coffee and, until recently, t-shirts and mugs with a logo reading "I [coffee mug] NY," has found itself on the wrong side of New York state's Department of Economic Development. According to the Times, the issue is that logo, which the state claims in a cease-and-desist letter is an "unauthorized and confusingly similar use of the I ? NY® logo" that's been around since the '70s.
It's not just the mug, because seriously who would confuse a coffee mug for a heart? The Department's lawyer says that federal laws "prohibit companies from using any part of a trademark," so apparently the "I" and "NY" are not allowed to be used.
After removing the mugs and shirts and things with the logo and slapping a sticker over it at the Soho location, co-owner Sam Penix tells the Times that the department?whose responsibilities actually include "promot[ing] a vigorous and growing economy" and "encourag[ing] the creation of new job and economic opportunities"?and its lawyer are trying to get Everyman to pony up a portion of its profits from the time period it was using that logo. It's unclear what will come of that, but Penix and partner Jay Terrana declined the state's offer to pay to license the logo.
· A Cup Is at the Heart of a Trademark Dispute [NYT]