Saint John — Yesterday morning the popular Saint John-based coffee shop Java Moose was hit with a lawsuit from Moosehead Breweries for alleged trademark infringement over use of the word “moose,” and unfair competition over its logo.
Java Moose Coffee Roasters’ logo shows a black-and-white line drawing of a moose against a red backdrop — an image that’s been recognizable in New Brunswick for years. Moosehead Breweries owner Steve Daigle says the similarities are too many and are costing his brewery its business. “I noticed it a couple of weeks ago when the line for Tims was so long I had to grab a coffee somewhere else,” he explained. “When they handed me the cup, I was like ‘Wait a minute … not only is this a consumable beverage, just like our beer, but it’s literally got a moose’s head emblazoned across it!’ And then I thought about Java Moose being based in Saint John … just like Moosehead! Three strikes against them, right there.”
Java Moose proprietor Reyna Steeves is baffled by the obscure comparisons Moosehead is attempting to draw between her coffee and their beer. “The guy’s delusional if he thinks us selling coffee with a picture of a moose on the side is going to stop Saint Johners from drinking their local beer,” she said, cracking open a pale-blue can of Moose Light. “I mean, come on, I can’t even make it through this interview without one — this shit’s addictive.”
Our reporter asked Saint John resident Matt Carter his thoughts on the lawsuit. “Let me get this straight,” he said, “Moosehead thinks Java Moose is hurting their business? I think I speak for all New Brunswickers when I say coffee gets me through the day till it’s time for beer … one addiction isn’t about to win out over the other.”
Unfortunately for The Manatee, Daigle interrupted our reporter partway through this interview at the brewery to ask a question. “Hang on here … you’re telling me your site’s logo is a manatee … so you promote yourself with the use of a large mammal that starts with the letter ‘M’? Uh-uh, no sir — consider yourself served.”
In an effort to avoid a legal battle, The Manatee‘s co-founders said they would consider changing the site’s name and logo in exchange for a lifetime supply of Moosehead beer for themselves and their writers. Moosehead has declined the offer, and is now reportedly eyeing Montana’s Cookhouse chain of restaurants as the next victims of a lawsuit for serving alcohol, having a moose mascot, and the letter “M” in their name.