Wall Street vs. Woodward: NY beanery takes on Detroit Bold Coffee

There's a battle brewing in Motown between a Detroit-area-based coffee shop and a New York beanery.

The Detroit Coffee Company has nothing to do with Detroit - aside from the name - it's based in New York, but is suing Detroit Bold Coffee Company over a trademark dispute.

AJ O'Neill owns Detroit Bold Coffee. At one time, he also owned AJ's café in Ferndale and held marathon renditions of "Oh, Danny Boy" for 50 straight hours to help the automotive industry. When the café closed, the coffee remained.

"I bring the community and the greater Detroit with me in every bag of coffee I sell. You can't buy our name," O'Neill said.

The problem is in the trademarks: both have them but when they were obtained and how they were used is disputed. According to the trademark infringement lawsuit, "Detroit Coffee Company" wants to prevent consumer confusion.

"It would be different if they had an actual product and they were selling it in the stores like we are in hundreds of stores around the state and the country," O'Neill said.

According to the lawsuit, New York's Detroit Coffee Company is distributed nationwide and has now expanded into other business areas such as clothing.

"I don't know what kind of products they're selling or what they're doing but there's nobody selling Detroit Bold Coffee or anything like Detroit," O'Neill said.

FOX 2 tried to contact Detroit Coffee Company's lawyers in New York but we didn't have any luck.

"The products have been known to here as Detroit bold. It's been selling pretty great," Ammar Elia, Manager Ferndale foods, said.

AJ says it's Woodward versus Wall Street and he's got a coffee called Woodward Avenue. Sales from that coffee will help pay the lawyers so Woodward can win.

CLICK HERE for more from Detroit Bold Coffee.

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