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

COLORS Comeback Closes After Less than a Month on Stanton Street

It was supposed to have been a grand return to form for COLORS restaurant. The venue, which reopened with plenty of hype at the end of December, closed again after a comeback of less than a month. The New York Post reported that the nonprofit in charge of the establishment, which previously championed staff diversity […]

Grand Street Pickpocketer Arrested for Robbing Off-Duty Officer

Maybe don’t pickpocket the police officer… Police arrested a man last Tuesday afternoon (January 14) who attempted to pickpocket an off-duty cop. The perp snatched the officer’s phone outside 500 Grand Street (near East Broadway), and ran off. But he was caught, arrested, and charged with robbery. (The 7th Precinct station house is around the […]

Stanton Parkhouse Bathrooms will Open by End of Month

And so begins the long road back for the Stanton Storehouse. Decades displaced from community hands, the facility partially reverts to neighborhood use this month with the debut of public bathrooms. With such a grand entrance, the proverbial throne inside the building teases. Behind those fresh cut archways are bathrooms for men and women, each […]

Full GovBall Lineup Announced for Summer 2020

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island, and Founders Entertainment has tapped some big names to kick off the celebration. Headliners for this year’s festival are GovBall veterans Tame Impala, alongside New York indie darlings Vampire Weekend. New additions to the top slots include venerable Fleetwood Mac […]

International Center of Photography Launches at Essex Crossing Next Week

For the International Center of Photography, four years of transition come to an end next week, as the institution plans its inauguration at Essex Crossing. The 40,000 square-foot museum and school, reunited for the first time since the midtown move, will debut on January 25 with a free “Opening Community Day.” Visitors on day one […]