Gothamist - MTA Tells Store to F Off
Gothamist has picked up on an interesting IP issue - the NYC MTA (group that runs the subway and busses) is trying to assert their rights in subwayness against a local shop. They are suing a bagel shop called "F Line Bagels" in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. These are trademark claims based on the fact that the shop uses the name "F Line" and also that its interior was made to look like a subway station.
Seriously, there a sooo many places out there that bite on the NYC subway style. Are they paying licensing fees? I doubt it. What about...Subway the sandwich chain? They even have wallpaper featuring NYC landmarks and maps and all.
It doens't seem to me that the MTA has been pursuing these sorts of claims in the past. I don't really know though. I think this would be an interesting case if it ever went to trial and appeal. The defendant would probably have a fair shot at winning based on the fact that so many other shops and goods have diluted the subway MTA trademarks. Who knows.
The MTA is currently in serious financial trouble, so maybe this is part of the new business plan.
Gothamist: MTA Tells Store to F Off
Here's the article in the NY Post.