Too Close for Convenience?

7-Eleven suing another “copycat” c-store for trading on its logo, goodwill

By 
Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

7-Eleven logo

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. -- 7-Eleven Inc. is going after another “copycat” convenience store, this time on Long Island. Earlier this month, the Dallas-based retailer sued the owner of the Super-7 c-store in Pennsylvania for using a too-similar logo.

In the latest case, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Central Islip Division, 7-Eleven is suing Medford Mart Inc. and Amandeep Singh, doing business as U-Mart, Medford, N.Y., for using a logo and color scheme that too closely resembles its own.

7-Eleven’s logo is a red and orange “7” traversed by a word element in green capital block letters, displayed against a white background within a four-sided shape that tapers at the bottom, with a green border. The variation of the logo is frequently displayed against a fascia with orange, green and red stripes separated by white stripes.

U-Mart’s logo is a red “U” traversed by a word element displayed in green capital block letters, displayed against a white background within a five-sided shape which tapers at the bottom, with a green border. The logo is displayed against a fascia with orange, red and green stripes separated by white stripes (see below).

7-Eleven alleges that U-Mart “adopted the U-Mart logo and the … striped mark … in order to deliberately and willfully trade upon the fame and goodwill represented by [7-Eleven],” said the court documents.

It claims that the “defendants have been unjustly enriched” by copying 7-Eleven’s trade dress.

7-Eleven wants the defendants to be “permanently enjoined” from using the U-Mart logo and striped fascia, and “using any other name, mark, logo or trade dress displayed in any color combination which includes any word or numeral element traversed by any other word or numeral element displayed against any geometric-shaped background; using any other name, mark, logo or trade dress displayed in any color combination, with or without additional colors, which includes in combination two or more of the colors red, green and orange for convenience store or related products or services; using any name, mark or logo consisting in whole or in part of the numerals ‘7’ or ‘11’ or the words ‘seven’ or ‘eleven’ for convenience stores or related products or services; [or] using any other name, mark or logo which is a reproduction, counterfeit, copy or colorable imitation of 7-Eleven’s … name, mark or logo, for convenience stores or related products or services.”

It also seeks to prevent the defendant from “doing any other act or thing likely to confuse, mislead or deceive others into believing that defendants, their services or products emanate from 7-Eleven or are connected with, sponsored by or approved by 7-Eleven [or] doing any other act or thing likely to dilute the distinctiveness of 7-Eleven’s trade identities.”

7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 7-Eleven convenience stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 55,800 7-Eleven c-stores in 16 countries. During 2013, 7-Eleven c-stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion.

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers