MoMA Files Lawsuit Against New Bowery Matcha Cafe ‘MoMaCha’

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

With a name like MoMaCha, the new Bowery cafe was simply a lawsuit waiting to happen. And, not too surprisingly, it did.

The Museum of Modern Art – popularly abbreviated as MoMA – sued the new Lower East Side business this week. It filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, accusing MoMaCha of willfully “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 claims in the lawsuit that the cafe’s logo is too similar to its own.

“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,” the museum stated in its complaint. “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.”

In response to the claim, MoMaCha said that the cafe is not a museum and doesn’t intend to compete with MoMA. Rather, it’s a purveyor of the powdered green tea, “matcha.”

“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,” a rep from MoMaCha told Law 360 (subscription required). “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.”

Share

Tags

Streets

Recent Stories

Bird Watching on the Lower East Side this Weekend

Binoculars at the ready! This weekend, the Urban Park Rangers from the Department of Parks and Recreation are hosting a birding session on the Lower East Side. The Rangers will guide enthusiasts of all levels to the best spots in the neighborhood, and the city at large, to catch fall migratory birds in action. Bring […]

Bank of America Plants itself Beside Destroyed Sunshine Cinema

With a commercial office building rising on the ashes of the Sunshine Cinema, it’s no wonder that a retail bank is moving in next door. Bank of America is planting itself in the long-fallow shop at the southwest corner of East Houston and Eldridge Streets. Work permits on file with the Department of Buildings give […]

Essex Market Shut Down for Private Maker’s Mark Event, Leaving Locals Confused [Updated]

The following guest post was written by Joshua Cohen, a Lower East Side resident and patron of Essex Market. I think the Essex Market, generally speaking, has been a great model for public-private partnerships. But last night, the Market hosted a private event for Maker’s Mark whiskey, where the local community’s interested were certainly not […]

T-Mobile is Closing its Delancey Street Store

Lots of retail turnover on Delancey Street this month. Earlier this week, we broke news of Rainbow’s imminent departure from the thoroughfare after more than a decade in the neighborhood. Today, it’s the loss of another corporate footprint. Though, one with arguably less utility. The eleven-year-old T-Mobile outpost, essentially an advertising expense for the wireless […]

Speed Cameras Installed on Pike Street

As part of the city’s push to capitalize on pedal-heavy motorists, new speed zones and cameras are proliferating. The latest in the neighborhood is outside Rutgers Houses on Pike Street. The camera box installation appeared within the last couple weeks, affixed to a lamppost between Cherry and Madison Streets. As with other locations, when the […]