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Boston bodega that's really a sneaker store sues New York bodega that's really a company that sells planters shaped like sneakers

Bodega, the "secret" sneaker store hidden in a Clearway Street storefront has filed a trademark lawsuit against Bodega Rose, a New York venture that sells planters shaped like sneakers and T-shirts emblazoned with "Bodega Rose."

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, our Bodega is asking a judge to tell that Bodega Rose to knock it off and stop selling planters shaped like sneakers and clothing that includes the word "Bodega" and to ship a ton of money up to Boston in recompense - specifically, all the profits it's made from the sales of those things plus triple damages.

Bodega alleges that Bodega Rose is going after "the same classes of consumers as Bodega," with seemingly related merch and that Bodega Rose kept doing so even after Bodega's lawyer sent them a letter in May, 2018 asking them as nicely as lawyers can to stop doing that and warning that Bodega would oppose Bodega Rose's efforts to win a trademark on its own brand name for planter sneakers and clothing.

In its complaint, Bodega discusses the importance of its own trademarks to its success:

Founded in Massachusetts in 2006, Bodega immediately earned acclaim in the streetwear and sneakerhead scenes as a particularly innovative and exciting brand, recognized for its bold designs and high-profile collaboration projects with other well-known footwear and apparel brands and retailers such as adidas, Reebok, and New Balance.

With an extensive online presence and brick-and-mortar locations in Boston and Los Angeles, Bodega has seen a meteoric rise onto the global stage as a tastemaker, putting Boston on the streetwear map. By way of example, Bodega had secured a deal to carry limited edition releases from Nike, and attained Nike's Tier Zero status after a mere two years in operation.

Much of Bodega's success is owed to its longstanding and consistent use of its trademarks, including the marks BODEGA and BDGA (collectively, the "Bodega Marks"). ...

As a result of Bodega's use and extensive and continuous efforts promoting the BODEGA Marks, consumers have come to recognize the BODEGA Marks as uniquely associated with Bodega and an indication of origin in Bodega, as a consequence of which Bodega has established valuable goodwill and exclusive rights in the BODEGA Marks.

Bodega continues that letting Bodega Rose do what it wants has already hurt Bodega and would inflict serious damage on it in the marketplace - especially if Bodega Rose puts out any inferior products:

Defendants' BODEGA ROSE Marks, for use on and in connection with apparel and sneaker-shaped planters, so resemble Bodega's first used BODEGA Marks for closely related goods and services offered within the very same market is likely to confuse, mislead, and deceive members of the public into believing that Bodega has allowed, sponsored, approved, or licensed Defendants to provide competing goods and services, or that Defendants are in some way connected to or affiliated with Bodega.

Any such confusion would result in injury or have a direct, deleterious impact on Bodega's reputation and its ability to market its own goods and services under the BODEGA Marks. Furthermore, any defect, objection, or fault found with Defendants' goods or services would negatively impact and seriously injure the reputation Bodega has established for its high-quality products and services offered under the BODEGA Marks.

The suit does not cover Bodega Rose's products that either do not resemble sneakers or which do not have "Bodega" on them, such as planters shaped like soccer balls and mugs printed with the saying "FUCK YOU FUCKIN' FUCK."

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PDF icon Bodega complaint192.66 KB

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Comments

I think their lawyer needs to take it down a notch.

This is a high end sneaker shop with a novelty entrance. That's it.

Kinda like Riccardis but for rich skater kids instead of rich foreign students.

Putting aside the hyper inflated egos and delusions of grandeur aside, isn't this like Domino's Sugar suing Domino's Pizza?

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Voting closed 30

I am not a trademark lawyer (heck, I don't even play one on TV), but the impression I've gotten over the years is that there has to be something in common between the two companies' offerings for a trademark lawsuit to work.

So a place that sells sneakers and clothing might have a case against a company that sells planters shaped like sneakers and clothing. Or a music-themed hotel called Verb that wants to expand nationally might have a case against a music-themed bar chain that wants to start opening hotels called Reverb.

But are sugar and pizza similar enough that somebody might get confused? Toss in the fact that their corporate identities are completely different (the sugar's identity is basically "Domino" written in blue on white, with a field of yellow beneath it; the dominant part of the pizza chain's logo is an actual domino). So maybe not (and it's not even like Domino's is known for relying on sugar to boost the flavor of its pies, unlike certain other chains we could name).

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Voting closed 28

i found out the designer of Bodega Rose (Rose is her middle name) has already collaborated with Nike on their own product before (shoes, basketballs, etc).

So, can Boston Bodega really claim that B.Rose's stealing or hurting them when she's working with one of the largest corporations in the world on their own product?

my updated hot take is that Boston's Bodega smells $$$ and wants Nike to make it go away.

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Voting closed 14

Is the Nike (and Spaulding, and whoever owns Elmer Fudd and Betty Boop) stuff really legit?

I see their Lous Vuitton x Supreme planter is "official/unofficial". They may have bigger problems them Bodega.

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Voting closed 17

Did you want soap or ice cream?

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which also owns and operates the Garden State Parkway, sued a Florida pizza restaurant because their logo was similar to the Garden State Parkway logo.

Trademark law in this country is seriously broken. And (pardon the pun) the bar for filing these types of lawsuits is way too low.

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Voting closed 16

I use my old worn out sneakers for houseplants.

All actual bodegas should sue each of these places for confusing, misleading, and deceptive practices.

No. Really.

Screw them and their lame stores.
At least real bodegas are useful.

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Voting closed 39

Bodega Rose doesn't have a secret entrance.
What's the problem then?

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Voting closed 20