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Lizzie Borden House company officially files lawsuit against Fall River’s Miss Lizzie’s Coffee, here are the details



The owner of the Lizzie Borden House has officially filed a lawsuit against a Fall River coffee shop.

US Ghost Adventures, LLC and owner Lance Zaal brings the complaint against Miss Lizzie’s Coffee LLC (“Miss Lizzie’s”) and its owner, Joseph Pereira, for injunctive relief and damages, according to a recent court filing.

The suit states that US Ghost Adventures have consistently and extensively advertised, promoted, offered and used the LIZZIE BORDEN name and trademark (the “LIZZIE BORDEN Trademark”) as well as images of a hatchet (the “Hatchet Logo”) for over a decade, including on its website.

The plaintiff is the owner of the LIZZIE BORDEN trademark covering a variety of goods and services, including restaurant and hotel services, with dates of first use stemming from 1996, according to court documents. US Ghost Adventures also reportedly has a trademark for the Hatchet Logo covering a variety of goods and services, including restaurant and hotel services, with dates of first use stemming from 2013.

In addition to an issue with the coffee shop’s signage with hatchets and the name Miss Lizzie’s, the suit alleges that the defendants’ use of the marks is “a willful and intentional attempt to trade on the goodwill and commercial success that Plaintiff has built up in the Marks and their corollary registrations and an attempt to free ride on Plaintiff’s success as a preeminent and well-known provider of hospitality services in Fall River, Massachusetts.’ US Ghost Adventures also alleges that the signage and mark infringement has caused confusion leading the public to believe that Miss Lizzie’s is owned by the Lizzie Borden House.

What is interesting concerning the court filing is the trademark is LIZZIE BORDEN, and the coffee shop is named Miss Lizzie’s not Miss Lizzie Borden’s.

According to CBS Boston, Miss Lizzie’s attorney Daniel Larson explains that “the issue here is we believe the Lizzie Borden trademark is being expanded into a different class of goods and service. They don’t have a trademark for Lizzie. Their trademark is for Lizzie Borden, the full name. When you look at a trademark, it’s as a whole. Nobody owns the rights to the history of Lizzie Borden. That’s another issue here.”

There is currently a sign at the Borden House notifying customers that the coffee shop is not affiliated with them in any way.

Earlier this month before the lawsuit was filed, the PR firm representing Zaal sent Fall River Reporter an update on relations between the two entities.

“The owner of the Lizzie Borden House and the owners of Miss Lizzie’s coffee shop have cordially resolved the use of the Lizzie Borden name. The owner of Miss Lizzie’s coffee shop has agreed to change the name. A new name has yet to be determined.”

Reporter then contacted Pereira about the reported name change and he stated that nothing is changing as of now.

“We’ve met and he seemed amicable. However, no name change, nor business was ever discussed. We agreed to possibly work together, but that was all. I have no knowledge of any press release, nor have I made any agreement with him.”

The plaintiff is looking for the court to issue a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction against Miss Lizzie’s, to award damages, and to force the coffee shop to issue a formal public retraction and engage in corrective advertising to rectify their alleged improper use of the Marks.

Unless the disagreements can be resolved in the near future between the two parties, the case is headed to trial.

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