Categories: Cat News

Caterpillar Inc. accuses Cat & Cloud coffee shop of trademark infringement for using the word “CAT”

Caterpillar, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. They’re facing a backlash today after issuing a cease and desist notice against a coffee shop in Santa Cruz, California. for using the word “CAT” on their merchandise.

Cat & Cloud fighting back over cease and desist letter (courtesy photo)

Cat & Cloud Coffee received a cease and desist from Caterpillar Inc. back in August 2018 for using the word “CAT” in the name on the merchandise they sell for extra income.

Co-owner of Cat & Cloud Coffee Jared Truby stated in an interview with KSBW News (the link DOES work):

“It seemed ridiculous. So, we responded and got a lawyer, obviously. We asked them to further explain their case, asked them to drop it as we are in a completely different industry. They didn’t want to, so we went back and forth a few times and called them out for bullying.”

Jared Truby

Truby went on to add the $54 billion machinery company coming after a small coffee company business is unimaginable. A major condition in the cease and desist order is for Cat & Cloud never to print their name on anything ever again.

Neither Truby nor the customers agree it will hold up in court. It doesn’t make sense that anyone would confuse a major machine manufacturer with a coffee shop. Caterpillar is trying to stop Cat & Cloud from having the word “CAT” on the footwear and apparel the small business sells.

Caterpillar Inc. is looking at the order to protect their employees and the brand they love from trademark infringement. The company provided a statement to Action News

“We are not suing Cat & Cloud, not targeting a small business and not focused on Cat & Cloud’s primary interest: coffee. We’ve simply asked the U.S. Trademark Office to remove Cat & Cloud’s trademark registration on footwear and apparel only, products for which Caterpillar has longstanding trademarks and a considerable business. We hope to resolve this issue quickly.”

Caterpillar Inc.

More than $10,000 has been spent so far by Cat & Cloud in dealing with this case. Not being able to sell apparel for additional income will have a direct impact on employees and the business.

A petition at Change.org has already gathered more than 8,100 signatures to “tell Caterpillar Inc. to stop bullying Cat and Cloud and other small businesses.”

One paragraph in the petition reads

“Suspiciously, Caterpillar Inc. has not taken action against larger brands – like Target and Dr. Seuss Enterprises for their “Cat & Jack” and “Cat in the Hat” clothing products, respectively – seemingly because these brands are known to have excellent trademark counsel.  If these actions against smaller businesses are truthfully made an effort to protect the interests of Caterpillar Inc. why don’t they focus on the largest sources of potential competition?”

Change.org petition

How do the readers here feel about this? Personally, I believe those behind the cease and desist letter at Caterpillar Inc. have lost their minds. Imagine the businesses across the country that have the word “cat” in their name. Imagine the blogs that have the word.

While this article has nothing to do with actual cats, this website and thousands like it could be served a cease and desist is Caterpillar goes a bit more off the deep end.

Those who are commenting on Caterpillar Inc. Facebook community page are calling this fiasco an act of capitalism. This is yet another case of a big company trying to stomp out small business owners. They’re hurting their own reputation. As if they care.

For those of you beyond curious, I don’t know why the notice served in August 2018 is just now making the news. No other information is available at this time aside from what’s in this article.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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