According to a report in the Triangle Business Journal this morning, a New York City-based chain of arcade bars called Barcade Inc. is suing Kings, a bar and music venue in downtown Raleigh, for using the trademarked term “barcade” in its marketing.
Barcade Inc. says it has had a trademark on “barcade” since 2008; it has already sued another Triangle business, formerly Baxter’s Barcade in Chapel Hill (now just Baxter’s Bar and Arcade) for trademark infringement.
Kings co-owners Benjamin Barwick, Paul Siler, Steve Popson, and Cheetie Kumar—who also own Neptunes nightclub below Kings and the restaurant Garland next door—are all named as defendants. Siler told the INDY on Friday that the owners had been advised not to comment on the complaint.
From the TBJ:
Kings originally opened in July 1999 in Raleigh, but closed in 2007, prior to Barcade Inc.’s claim on the the trademark.
Barcade Inc. says it became aware in 2010 that the defendants planned to open a new Kings at a different location and notified Barwick of its trademark. The lawsuit alleges that Barwick responded in writing in 2010 that the business was known as Kings, with the word Barcade “never an integral part of our identity,” and that it wouldn’t be used with the new location. Barcade Inc. says it told Kings that the latter could keep using “barcade,” but just in its website, www.kingsbarcade.com. According to Barcade Inc., its consent didn’t extend to social media, advertising, or promotional material.
Barcade Inc. claims Kings didn’t keep its end of what it claims was their agreement. According to the suit, Barcade asked Kings to change its social media accounts repeatedly, but the term was never dropped.
“Defendants’ activities are likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive, causing great harm to Plaintiff’s reputation and goodwill,” the suit reads.
Barwick said Friday that Kings had hired an attorney and was planning a response to the complaint.
The Triangle Business Journal notes that Kings only uses the term “barcade” in its website domain name and in its Twitter handle; otherwise, the term “barcade” isn’t used on the venue’s website.