City of Chicago sues Fire Department Coffee claiming consumers will confuse the two

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Chicago filed a trademark lawsuit against Fire Department Coffee in Rockford.

Chicago claims that the Fire Department Coffee’s logo is too similar to Chicago Fire, and that the symbol might confuse consumers.

Both Fire Department Coffee and Chicago Fire have separate trademarks for their logos that are recognized by the United States. Those trademarks can be found in the lawsuit under Exhibit A and Exhibit F.

The City of Chicago wants Fire Department Coffee to stop using theirs.

“We feel that our logo is very different,” said Fire Department Coffee CEO Luke Schneider.

He stands firm behind statement.

“It’s stressful. We have a City suing us when we feel like we’ve done nothing wrong. We know we’ve done nothing wrong. At the end of the day I can go home and feel good about myself because I am confident we have done nothing wrong,” said Schneider. “The style of lettering of our logo is a common style used across the country, fire departments all across the country.”

The City of Chicago says that consumers will become confused and believe Fire Department Coffee is affiliated with them.

Chicago said the company is intentionally attempting to improperly ride on the city’s coattails and trade on the city’s success and goodwill.

Attorney Phil Nicolosi explained this.

“Predominantly it’s consumer confusion, you’re a competitor, you’re using an identical or a similar mark in commerce to compete with me and it’s with the same goods, or the same services or very close or similar of such goods or services,” said Nicolosi. “That’s a problem because you’re diverting customers away from me, or potential customers and that’s consumer confusion because you’re confusing the public.”

The Windy City also claimed that the public is likely to be damaged as a result of the “deceptive trade.”

“Fire Department Coffee has done nothing wrong in all of this, we have a mission to serve great coffee, and support injured and ill firefighters and first responders,” Schneider said.

The City of Chicago did send a cease and desist letter to Fire Department Coffee in April of 2019. Now, they’re demanding a jury trial.

Eyewitness News reached out to the City of Chicago for further comment, but didn’t hear back.

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