Coffee shop says construction giant Caterpillar Inc. demands it stops selling T-shirts with the word 'Cat'

Caterpillar Inc. is going after Cat & Cloud Coffee shop for using the word 'cat' in their trademarked logo. (Photo: Caterpillar Inc./Instagram)
Caterpillar Inc. is going after Cat & Cloud Coffee shop for using the word 'cat' in its trademarked logo. (Photo: Caterpillar Inc./Instagram)

A Santa Cruz coffee shop is in Caterpillar Inc’s line of fire after the construction equipment giant put pressure on the small business to remove its trademark from apparel and footwear.

According to a Twitter thread on the Cat & Cloud Coffee shop’s account, the Fortune 100 company is pursuing legal action against Cat & Cloud for using the word “cat” on clothes. Caterpillar Inc. trademarked its own logo, which is “CAT” displayed with a yellow triangle beneath the “A,” long ago. However, the company seems to now feel threatened by the coffee shop’s own trademark for “CAT & CLOUD,” registered in 2015.

Caterpillar Inc’s petition for cancellation against Cat & Cloud — which was first filed in August 2018 — reveals that the corporation “believes that it is being, and will be damaged” by the trademark that the coffee shop has, which allows it to use a cat dressed in a hat and T-shirt, alongside a lightning cloud and the words “CAT & CLOUD,” on apparel.

The owners of Cat & Cloud, Jared Truby and Chris Baca, didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, on their company’s Twitter account, they expressed that Caterpillar Inc. is “using this tactic to bully other small, local businesses too – companies they know can’t afford expensive legal battles.”

Caterpillar Inc., however, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that bullying small businesses is not the intention.

“We are not suing Cat & Cloud, not targeting a small business and not focused on Cat & Cloud’s primary interest: coffee,” a statement from the company’s spokesperson reads. “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.”

Meanwhile, Cat & Cloud owners have made it evident that they’re not backing down, and have instead asked that customers help them in their fight against Caterpillar Inc. by donating to a gofundme.

By the looks of Twitter and #DontBulldozeSmallBiz, it seems that a lot of people are ready to jump into this cat fight.

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