Cease & Desist: A peek inside the ampersand wars

Illustration for article titled Cease & Desist: A peek inside the ampersand wars
Photo: Andrei Stanescu (iStock)

Restaurant names with ampersands in them have become a national joke at this point, but that doesn’t stop new brand names from adopting the curly, sexy punctuation with each passing day. Target recently leapt aboard at Conjunction Junction in September, when it unveiled its massive new line of in-house products, under the brand name Good & Gather. This line leaves other house brands like Xhilaration clothing and Up & Up household products (hey, there’s another ampersand!) in the dust, as far as size and scope. It’s the biggest brand launch Target has ever undertaken, with sales in the projected billions by the end of next year.


But to one business owner in Atlanta, Good & Gather is a big problem. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Emily Golub, who founded her meal kit company Garnish & Gather in 2014, is suing Target for not only a too-similar product name, but an overly similar logo as well. (Both feature encircled letter G’s.) “It is a lot of similarities, and it is too many in my opinion to be a coincidence,” said Golub.

The outcome of this lawsuit could have interesting implications on other competing compound business names, because that little ampersand is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here to make either of these trademarked names interesting in the slightest. If you want to avoid filing suit in federal court against a multibillion-dollar company, foregoing everyone’s favorite punctuation could be a good start. And don’t do the plus sign or the slash mark, either—those are played out, too.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.


Cayde-6's Unloaded Dice

This gives me an idea for my new business:

Cease & Desist, a boutique law firm specializing in intellectual property