Seattle: Space Needle sues WA coffee shop for trademark infringement

The Seattle Space Needle has sued a local coffee chain for using its trademarked logo in coffee shop branding and merchandise.

The logo for Local Coffee Spot, which has four locations in the Seattle area, features a mug of hot coffee whose rising steam bears striking resemblance to the iconic tower’s own logo used on branded merchandise.

The Space Needle’s owner, a private company, contends the coffee shop’s logo copies a trademarked design, and filed a lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Karen Olson, who heads the Space Needle’s operations and marketing departments, said the legal action is unusual, if not unprecedented, for the company.

“We’ve never had to get to this point” Olson said. “I’m surprised that we’re here.”

Beau McKeon, co-owner of Local Coffee Spot, shares that feeling of surprise. A lifelong Seattleite, he can’t believe that the venture he started as a way to employ people during the pandemic has drawn a lawsuit.

“We feel very, very victimized as the small guys,” McKeon said. “This is beyond bullying.”

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