The general manager of the Park Slope Food Coop thinks it’s totally not cool that the Barneys Co-op is coming to Brooklyn and using the name “co-op” when it’s not really a cooperative. Says Joe Holtz in a letter to the Brooklyn Paper, “Barney’s misuse of the word dilutes [the Park Slope Food Coop’s] effort and effectively undermines our business model and, for lack of a better concept, ‘brand.’” (Don’t worry, Joe — letter-writing campaigns like this one will totally re-solidify your brand, and give everyone yet another reason to mock it!) It turns out Holtz’s complaint might actually pass legal muster, since there’s some obscure law that says an actual co-op can protest a corporation’s abuse of the word, whether someone like Barneys has trademarked it or not. Holtz hasn’t yet decided whether he’s going to sue, but if he does, dapper bagger Adrian Grenier may just have to pick sides.
Is the Barneys Co-op breaking the law — with its name? [Brooklyn Paper]