News

Alberni coffee shop name kiboshed

SteamPunk Café and Coffee House owner Kevin Wright toasts his step-daughter, Madi Pollard-Wright, shortly after the café opened in July. - SONJA DRINKWATER/Alberni Valley News
SteamPunk Café and Coffee House owner Kevin Wright toasts his step-daughter, Madi Pollard-Wright, shortly after the café opened in July.
— image credit: SONJA DRINKWATER/Alberni Valley News

Kevin Wright has only been in business for three months, but he’s already having to change the name of his coffee house.

SteamWorks Café opened in the summer on Third Avenue, a trendy new café with a steampunk theme—and, it turns out, a name already trademarked by SteamWorks Brew Pub in Gastown.

In order to correct this trademark infringement, Wright has changed the name of his café to SteamPunk Café and Coffee House.

“During the spring when we were trying to figure out a name, ‘SteamPunk’ was actually my first choice,” Wright said. He ran checks on several different names to make sure they were legal, and received permission to use SteamWorks. He has since discovered that approval from Victoria doesn’t necessarily mean the name is OK to use.

SteamWorks Brew Pub owner Eli Gershkovitch said he found out about Wright’s café on Facebook. Gershkovitch trademarked “SteamWorks” on Nov. 3, 2000 with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Gershkovitch explained in an e-mail to the Alberni Valley News that he asked Wright to change the café’s name to prevent confusion, as well as to protect the SteamWorks brand he has created with his brewery.

Gershkovitch said he was impressed with Wright’s operations. “I also plan on patronizing the SteamPunk Café the next time I am in Port Alberni,” he said.

Wright has changed his signs.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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