DNA Lounge Issues Cease-and-Desist Letter To East Coast Bar That Stole Its Name
About two weeks ago, news popped up in Eater Washington DC that a new bar in DC was opening with the name DNA Lounge. San Francisco’s DNA Lounge responded immediately with a cease-and-desist letter, because the 36-year-old South of Market nightclub has the name trademarked. The owner of DC’s newfake “DNA Lounge” admitted to Eater DC that he did indeed know that someone was already using the name, but claimed that “A lot of [businesses in] different states have the same names.”
BrokeAssStuart.com has obtained portions of that very cease-and-desist letter from the real DNA Lounge, which reads in part as follows:
DNA Lounge has been in operation since 1985. It is a world-famous nightclub, live music venue and bar, and has won a huge number of awards, including being recognized as “Best Dance Club” in various local publications every year for decades.
DNA Lounge has also been classified an historic, Legacy Business by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors. In a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, Gavin Newsom (then Mayor, now Governor of California) said that DNA Lounge “greatly contributes to the rich cultural history of San Francisco’s entertainment scene and our beloved historic South of Market district.”
As a world-famous venue, DNA Lounge’s market extends far beyond the San Francisco Bay Area. The club has operated web-based live streams continuously, 24/7, since 2001. Consequently, the club has a global audience and global market, generating sales of merchandise, memberships, and donations nationally and internationally.
It would cause great harm, and great confusion to existing and future DNA Lounge customers, were someone else to trade under DNA Lounge’s name. Furthermore, given DNA Lounge’s extensive, active, long-term, and verified social media presence on all platforms, it is not credible that someone might type “DNA Lounge” into any search engine and come to the conclusion that the name is “available”.
DNA Lounge owner Jamie Zawinski tells BrokeAssStuart.com that “We regretfully took this step because what they are doing will cause us real harm, financially and reputationally. Allowing another bar to rip off our name will cause enormous confusion and cost us business. It will screw up our social media and our search results.”
A trademark is a legal designation that a name, logo, symbol, or phrase belongs to your business, “We have a registered trademark on DNA Lounge, which grants us exclusive rights to the name,” Zawinski says. “I understand that the other bar owner is under the impression that because they are in a different city, that makes it cool for them to poach our name. But it’s not cool, in fact, it’s a Federal crime.
DNA Lounge has to take on extra legal bills now, at a time when their revenue is decimated and their stage cannot be open to the public. (DNA Pizza is still doing take-out and delivery, and DNA Lounge is still frequently webcasting live shows from that stage.) So the extra costs come at a terrible time.
“The best way people can help is to ensure that we are able to wait out the pandemic and still be around when it’s over, so we can get back to bringing you the kind of awesome events you expect from us is to become a member of our Patreon, make a donation, spread the word about our ongoing free webcast series, and buy our pizza and delivery cocktails.”
The next few upcoming DNA Lunge webcasts include:
KLUB VEKTOR: GROUND ATTACK SUPPORT WEBCAST (Weds., Feb. 10, 8 p.m.)
TURBO DRIVE PARTY-IN-PLACE WEBCAST (Fri., Feb. 12, 7 p.m.)
BOOTIE MASHUP LIVE FROM DNA LOUNGE (Sat., Feb. 13, 7 p.m.)
HARDCORE IN THE BAY: LOVE DAY X-STREAM (Sun., Feb. 14, 4 p.m.)
DEATH GUILD PARTY-IN-PLACE WEBCAST (Mon., Feb. 15, 9:30 p.m.)