|Re: MTA Demands Slice of the Action at Brooklyn Bagel Shop or Else (63787)|
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Re: MTA Demands Slice of the Action at Brooklyn Bagel Shop or Else
Posted by Allan on Tue Mar 15 08:57:41 2005, in response to Re: MTA Demands Slice of the Action at Brooklyn Bagel Shop or Else, posted by Max Roberts on Tue Mar 15 08:22:01 2005.Max,
You are missing the point.
The MTA uses the symbols (a/k/a bullets) in particular number/letter/color combinations in order to represent the services they provide for which they are paid (the fares). They also issue publications (maps, brochures etc) which utilitize these symbols. Publications can be copyrighted and since the symbols as used by the MTA are somewhat unique to the MTA they can claim rights to them.
The use of the F symbol by the bagel shop in the white letter on orange disk motif was an obvious attempt (don't tell me they didn't know) on the part of the Assad brothers to capitalize on the subway and its imagery (the tiles on the walls).
I read the part about the fact that they bought $1,000 of subway memorabilia to decorate the store. I don't think any of that is causing the problem (I think it is just an attempt of the Assads to divert attention from the real problem). There is a Deli in Staten Island that actually has a R1/9 subway car inside. Ellens Stardust Diner in Manhattan has a recreated subway car as the storefront. In neither case are they using any MTA symbols in their businesses.
As for Subway sandwich shops using B.M.T. as part of their menu. The legal (copyrighted) usage of the letters as related to the NYC subway stopped when the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Company went out of business in 1940 as the City of NY took over the operations. The same goes for the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT). In fact these days (although they keep trying) the MTA doesn't even use IRT, BMT and IND as official designations.
For the Subway shops B.M.T actually means B (this one I don't remember) M = meat, T = Tomato. Oh and as I mentioned in other postings the copyrights on the old subway maps expired decades ago so that is why they used it in their wallpaper (and then copyrighted it).
"Can you really trademark a letter of the alphabet in America? If so, I'm off to do the rest of the alphabet all in light blue bullets, so that if the 2nd Av Subway ever opens in my lifetime, the MTA will have to pay me to use them."
If you copyright them it means that you intend to use them in print or other medium. You can't just copyright something and never use it.