Sunday, July 08, 2001

Museum, eatery stake name claim

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A science museum says a New York City-based chain of sandwich shops is welcome to come to central Ohio, as long as it changes its name.

        The museum, which has branches in Columbus and Toledo, is the Center of Science and Industry, known more commonly as COSI. The sandwich shops go by names that include Cosi, Xando Cosi, and Xando.

        COSI has filed a federal trademark-infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Xando Cosi, the parent company of the sandwich shops. The suit asks the shops not to use the name Cosi in Ohio and neighboring states.

        In a written response to COSI's claim, the sandwich seller says the museum is full of baloney.

        The sandwich shops say the museum had better not use the COSI name in connection with its cafe and catering because Xando Cosi has exclusive rights to it. The company apparently has plans to move into the central Ohio market.

        “We've done a good job building this name and that's what we have to protect,” said Tina Guegold, vice president for marketing at the museum. “People using normal logic would assume, because of the name and the logo is similar to ours, that it is associated with us.”

        The sandwich-shop chain has locations from Massachusetts to Virginia and in Chicago.

        Its parent company was formed in 1999 by the merger of Xando, a coffeehouse and liquor bar, with Cosi, an upscale sandwich shop.

        The museum began using the COSI abbreviation in 1964 and registered COSI as the museum's name in 1989, its lawsuit said.

        Cosi became the registered trademark name of the sandwich-shop chain in 1997.


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