Legal fight brewing over similar attention-grabbing store names, logos

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two New Mexico shops, both with similar attention-grabbing names, now one of them wants the other to find a new name and a legal fight is brewing.

“They giggle. When somebody walks in we’re like welcome to Bad Ass Coffee,” said Michael Clement, owner of the Bernalillo franchise of Bad Ass Coffee.

It has a catchy name, but the brand has a deeper story.

“In Hawaii the only access to the coffee beans is through donkey,” said Clement.

This cafe in Bernalillo is part of the Bad Ass Coffee brand.

A Utah-based chain that has been serving Hawaiian coffee for more than two decades.

“All our coffee is from Hawaii, we do have Kona. 100 percent Kona, not the Kona blend,” said Clement.

But earlier this year — the coffee company noticed a sandwich shop in Santa Fe with a similar name and the same donkey logo.

“They’re Bad Ass Sandwich company, we’re Bad Ass Coffee Company, but anybody in the public would be confused into thinking they were associated with us,” said Ben Allison, attorney representing Bad Ass Coffee.

The coffee company is now suing the sandwich company for causing confusion — they said is hurting their sales and reputation.

“Getting our customers in the door. Thinking they are getting our client’s product, when they are actually not,” said Allison.

The Bad Ass Coffee Company also makes a lot of money in merchandising their unique brand name – both in stores and online. The sandwich shop also has a similar online store.

“We sell a lot of merchandise. We have our assalope shirts, our brand shirts, we have a variety of shirts,” said Clement.

KRQE News 13 went by the sandwich shop in Santa Fe, they were closed earlier than their listed hours and did not return our calls today. People we talked to say it is confusing.

“I have been to the coffee shop, I’ve passed by the sandwich shop a few times and I thought they were owned by the same place,” said Samiyah Edwards, a Santa Fe resident.”

The coffee chain said it is seeking money for the damages caused. The lawsuit does not say how much. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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