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

Clayton’s Corner: Overthrow the Wrong Way

In this installment of Clayton’s Corner, photographer Clayton Patterson shares news that the Overthrow boxing gym on Bleecker Street is back in action. Then, crosstown on Essex Street, two cops stopped for a quick slice. However, flouting traffic by driving the wrong way to park in front of Champion Pizza. This move seemed to irk […]

How COVID and a Bus Stop Chased Benson’s from Essex Street

The following guest post was penned by Boogie reader Sydney Fishman. For five years, Benson’s held down the corner of East Houston and Essex Streets with craft beers, sumptuous burgers, and the occasional movie night. The movie nights, according to owner Annie Morton, were the highlight of Benson’s tenure on the Lower East Side. Before […]

Next Phase of Market Line at Essex Crossing Now Visible

With scaffolding and other construction elements removed from The Artisan building at Essex Crossing, another part of the Market Line is coming into focus. Unlike the westernmost third of the Market Line, this section beneath 180 Broome Street feels less like a dungeon. Design elements, including massive grand staircase and full facade glass open the […]

14-Story Eldridge Street Hotel Hit with Stop Work Order

The hotel newcomer underway on lower Eldridge Street – recently topped out at fourteen stories – met the might of the city. Inspectors from Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order on 79 Eldridge about a week ago. It’s a full order which only allows work “to provide shoring for all staircases and provide design […]

Eighteen Groups Sign Open Letter Demanding Transparency over CB3 Removal of Committee Chairs

Eighteen community groups within Community Board 3 on the Lower East Side this week co-signed an open letter to city and state officials urging inquiry into the removal of Alexandra Militano and Carolyn Ratcliffe as chairs of the SLA and Arts & Culture subcommittees, respectively. The shakeup, apparently inspired by a stated “new direction” for […]