Gathering Place Sues Small Coffee Shop In Shawnee Over Name Rights

Beverly Cantrell - September 26, 2021 6:46 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma – 

Tulsa’s Gathering Place park is suing a coffee shop in Shawnee over its name.

The park wants to take back the rights to the name, but it also wants the coffee shop to pay damages it says were caused by customer confusion.

The owner of The Gathering Place coffee shop said he’s shocked and that the fines would take everything.

The Gathering Place Coffee Co. – Uncovering Oklahoma
The Gathering Place Coffee Co. – Uncovering Oklahoma
Tulsa’s Gathering Place lawsuit against The Gathering Place Coffee shop has coffee shop owner Jesse Ingram questioning whether his business would survive the legal battle.

“I guess I was a little surprised,” Ingram said. “I really love what we do in Shawnee and I don’t like the idea of that being at risk.”

The lawsuit filed Friday alleges the coffee shop intentionally causes confusion for the park’s customers, even though the shop is an hour and a half away from Tulsa in Shawnee.

Trademark Lawyer Michael King said a big component of any case like this is proving that confusion.

“You have to establish that the public may be confused by the use of the two marks and therefore commerce or customers may go to one place thinking they may go to another,” King said.

Parts of the suit read, “Unless restrained by this Court, the Defendants’ violation will continue to cause irreparable injury to TGP and to the public. […] TGP prays that it be awarded monetary recovery to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

For Ingram, having to change his shop’s name isn’t off the table, but it’s costly to completely change a small business’ brand while paying the legal fees and fines for making money off the name.

“What they’ve asked for us to repay to them for using the Gathering Place name is everything we could have,” Ingram said. “You know they would take everything from us if they won this lawsuit.”


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