Gathering Place park sues Gathering Place coffee shop for having same generic name…

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.

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20 Responses

  1. “I know we have some pretty stupid people in our state, but that takes things to new lows”

    Remember this is the state that, after electing Mary Fallin Governor twice, saw all 77 counties vote for trump, and then followed that up by electing Stitt. And you’ve seen the vaccination rate in NE Oklahoma, right? That should pretty much explain everything…

  2. George Kaiser and his foundation, the primary moving force behind Tulsa’s Gathering place, are not “rich, greedy assholes.” Rich yes, but the rest is way out of bounds. Mr. K and his foundation have a long record of selfless philanthropy enhancing the quality of life in Tulsa. There isn’t another Oklahoma billionaire anywhere near as generous. That’s the very opposite of “greedy asshole.”

    That said, whoever dreamed up this ridiculous lawsuit must be a greedy asshole “mean lawyer” with too little to do. With enough bad publicity like this article, maybe TGP will recognize it’s poor judgment, decide to drop this suit, and apologize to the Shawnee Gathering Place. I hope so.

  3. I know where I’m going next time I’m in Shawnee.

    1. Been there, it’s wonderful shop, the service, products very good, very popular. Not worth driving just for the coffee visit, but when we are there we always go by, especially in the chilly months. Of course now with this news/information it will become too cool/crowded to go, Hhahahahahaha

  4. I know I’ll catch Hell but many organizations draw lines in the sand so to speak. I have no clue what the Attorney’s motivation was but if I was task to work for the good of the “Gathering Place” I might consider the fact that if there was no line in the sand drawn before you knew it anyone looking online for this park would have to wade through a hundred different small businesses from something as innocent as a burger joint in Shawnee to a pot shop on Riverside drive. The Kaisers did happen to invest a few hundred million dollars doing something for the entire city of Tulsa. I would prefer it remained exclusive for the people of Tulsa in name as well.
    Mr. Graychin couldn’t be more spot on if he tried regarding the Kaiser family and its Foundation specifically. I would think they are certainly the best this State has to offer.

  5. Patrick, I think maybe you wrote “societal ilks” when you wanted to write “societal ills”. Maybe? Or maybe not.

  6. Seems $425 million dollars is a lot of money to spend to provide transients a place to sleep at night. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to build and staff an Embassy Suites for them instead?

    1. No.

  7. I did an internet search on “The Gathering Place.” The first thing that came up is Tulsa’s Gathering Place. I just wonder if the a-hole that decided to file this lawsuit is also filing law suits against all the other Gathering Places I found quite easily. That would include a place that helps kids and teens deal with cancer, another that is an elementary school in San Antonio, another is a senior center in Kentucky ………… and the list goes on.

    1. I wonder is the park’s name trademarked, if so, when? When did the coffee shop register with the state?

      Like stated in the article, “The Gathering Place” is such a generic name. I wonder how much the PR firm that came up with it was paid? I wonder if it was more than the folks that came up with “Imagine That”?

  8. In the northeastern corner of the state, there are a lot of businesses that begin with “NEO” in their name with most of them having nothing to do with the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. It’s unfortunate that a lawsuit has been filed in this case but I’m curious, did they not know of the Tulsa park before naming their shop, and if it’s in Shawnee why not use the name “The Shawnee Gathering Place” or some other similar name? Also, Graychin is right, Oklahoma would be nicer than it is if more of the 1% were as charitable as the Kaisers. The ones I’ve met were very nice. Lawyers are lawyers and they will lawyer when given the oppurtunity.

  9. I’m glad Jesus’ lawyers haven’t sued me yet because I have “Lord” as part of my user name.

    1. One day you will pay, Jesus defrauder.

      1. Is he?

      2. I’m prepared to settle out of court if necessary. I have already gathered a few shekels.

  10. Rename the coffee shop The Kaiser Foundation Coffee Shop. Problem solved.

  11. No worry. I’m pretty sure that Tulsa will someday sell naming rights to the park.

    1. Chesapeake is available.

  12. Just when you thought Tulsa couldn’t be any more pretentious. I wonder if they will also sue every coffee house in America named the Gathering Place. I know of one in Indiana thats older than the park in Tulsa, they should lawyer up and give those boring pretentious idiots a run for the money. Speaking of Tulsa, whatever happened to Dr. Bob Blackburns boondoggle of a Pop Museum? I heard they were on track to build a golden shrine of Toby Keith bc we all care so much about popular people, seemed like a perfect fit for Tulsa. I know one thing for sure, I appreciate that Tulsa made all those improvements to I-44 so I can blow through there like the wind on my way to spending my tourist dollars in Bentonville. That fancy Crystal Bridge museum blows the Gilchrist out of the water as do most of the Bville eateries.

  13. The gathering place in Shawnee was also founded *a whole year* before the TGP in Tulsa was a thing

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