Competition of the culinary kind in New York is fierce, and this summer, the battle between two warring ice cream truck companies—Mister Softee and New York Ice Cream—is really heating up. These battles have become the stuff of legends. “You will never see a Mister Softee truck in Midtown. . . . If you do, there will be problems, and you won’t see him there very long,” an anonymous ice cream man, afraid to reveal his identity, recently told the New York Times.
The two rival businesses ended up in court this week over who has rights to the signature jingles. Brooklyn Magistrate Judge Steven Gold ruled yesterday that New York Ice Cream company infringed on the copyright of Mister Softee by playing its jingle, the New York Daily News reports.
Gold ruled that Dimitrios Konstantakakos, the ex-Mister Softee employee who founded New York Ice Cream, is liable for $10,000 in legal fees for the infringement of the song, which the judge said could confuse customers, especially children.
This isn’t the first time the two companies have found themselves in court. Previously, New York Ice Cream was called Master Softee but was forced to change its name in another lawsuit.
A lawyer for Mister Softee told the Daily News, "This is a victory in our ongoing cases against those who violated their franchise agreements and continued to use Mister Softee's registered marks.”
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