Local roasters and community-minded coffee company since 2009, Detroit Bold, is being sued for trademark infringement by New York-based Michigan LLC Detroit Coffee, Ian Thibodeau reports this week. Detroit Coffee wants Detroit Bold’s brand name, merchandise, logos and internet presence “destroyed or handed over” along with “$100,000 for damages and attorney fees.” But it’s all a little bit strange, and seems to have to do with Detroit Bold’s recent addition of new logos calling itself Detroit Bold Coffee Co.
Owner A.J. O’Neil, who first made a name in the coffee biz at his former spot A.J.’s Music Cafe in Ferndale, tells the Detroit News that he is shocked and has actually filed a counter suit, since he’s never seen “any evidence that Detroit Coffee actually sells any coffee” under the name and that its trademarks (dating back to the early aughts) “were dead” when Detroit Bold registered the Detroit Bold Coffee Co. logos in early 2016.
Two months later, Detroit Coffee renewed its own trademarks. The Detroit Coffee website does in fact show that it is now selling coffee via paypal.
O’Neil, who only employs a staff of five and still delivers his coffee to grocery stores himself, tells the News he will likely not be able to afford to go to trial, but “will never give up” the Detroit Bold name.
Detroit Bold Coffee battling for Detroit-branded brew [DetroitNews]
All Lawsuits [EDET]