I’ve never been 100% sure how I feel about Tulsa’s big, fancy and ballyhooed $425-million Gathering Place.
On one hand, I guess it’s cool that Tulsa has a huge, internationally acclaimed, giant super park for the public to use, and to help the all-mighty Kaiser family to feel better about themselves. Then again, in today’s day and age where poverty, homelessness and other societal ilks are all around us, especially in places like Tulsa, couldn’t they have gotten by with, I don’t know, a $200-million park, and used the other half for more pressing concerns?
Either way, I guess that’s a conversation to have for another day (or in the comments section). This one is about The Gathering Place’s asshole lawyers suing a Shawnee coffee shop for having the same name.
Tulsa’s Gathering Place is slamming a Green Country coffee shop with a lawsuit this month.
The suit says “The Gathering Place Coffee Company in Shawnee is taking advantage of the park’s fame for its own profit, by using the same name.”
Attorneys representing the Gathering Place filed the suit on Friday. They claim The Gathering Place Coffee Company advertises similar services to the park-like event spaces and coffee shops.
The park says that has created confusion among park patrons. It’s unclear when the park was notified. However, representatives for the park say it has received complaints from park-goers about the mix-up.
First of all, I hate to break it to the gumshoes at KJRH, but Shawnee is not located in Green Country. It’s in “Adventure Country.” Get your Oklahoma Tourism districts straight!
Second, what type of moron would get a small coffee shop in Shawnee confused with a colossal $425-million park in Tulsa? I know we have some pretty stupid people in our state, but that takes things to new lows:
“Welcome to the Gathering Place. Can I help you?”
“She’ll have a pumpkin spice latte, and I’ll have a caramel-bomb cappuccino with extra whip cream!”
“Anything else, sir?”
“Yeah, where are all the slides and the big ole’ playgrounds and stuff?”
“Oh, that’s The Gathering Place in Tulsa, Mr. Stitt. We’re just a tiny coffee shop in Shawnee.”
“Daggumit. Damn you, Siri!”
Seriously, this would be like McDonald’s suing Ron’s Hamburger’s because people may think the burgers and chili are made by Ronald McDonald. It’s stupid, callous and greedy.
The owners of The Gathering Place in Shawnee – who now have gained more earned media and publicity from the lawsuit than they ever could have dreamed of – left this Facebook comment:
As an Internet publisher who likes to push the limits of free speech, comedy and parody, I’ve received my fair share of copyright and trademark-related cease and desist orders.
Sometimes, like when The Oklahoman sent us a cease and desist after we placed Young Jenni Carlson t-shirt coffee mugs on Cafe Press, I quickly complied with their request, and released censored versions instead:
Other times, like when diabolical anti-masker, anti-vaxxer, anti-scientific-consensus-in-general Facebook weatherman Aaron Tuttle sued us for photoshopping his absurd bodybuilding pics onto silly and funny backgrounds, we fought the lawsuit, went to court, and had it dismissed. We were also compensated for our legal fees.
I’m not sure what I would do if I owned The Gathering Place in Shawnee.
Copyright law is weird and tricky. The Gathering Place is a generic enough name, and they’re in different lines of business, so you’d think they could possibly win in court, but is it worth it? The people who fund the Gathering Place in Tulsa are rich, greedy assholes with mean lawyers who apparently have nothing better to do than harass a small business 150 miles away because a few morons allegedly got it mixed up with a $425-million park, so probably not.
I’d say a quick and easy fix would be to change the name to The Gathering Spot, The Gathering Depot, or in a nod to Nathan Fielder, The Dumb Gathering Place.
Another option would be to name it Frontier City Coffee. It’s not the best name, but it would probably get them another lawsuit and more publicity, so it would probably be worth it.
Either way, I guess we’ll continue to follow this story and provide updates. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.