NORFOLK, Va. (CN) – Warner Bros., DC Comics and the Organic Coffee Cartel ripped off the trademarked “Chock Full o’ Nuts” coffee can to promote Warner Bros.’ “Watchmen” movie, Massimo Zanetti Beverage claims in Federal Court. The movie and the comic book both depict superheroes serving “Nite Owl” coffee, packaged in a can nearly identical to Zanetti’s, according to the complaint.
Both cans allegedly feature Zanetti’s trademarked checkerboard banner design and logos. The third defendants, the Organic Coffee Cartel, which sells cans of “Nite Owl” with the contested logos, was started by a cameraman who worked on the “Watchmen” movie, Zanetti says. The coffee cans are shown side by side on page 7 of the complaint. The complaint cites an interview with the photographer, Clay Enos, in which he allegedly said that the “Nite Owl” coffee can was designed to be ‘kind of Chock Full o’ Nuts-esque.”
Delaware-based Zannetti seeks an injunction and damages. It is represented by Craig Mytelka of Virginia Beach.