Update: Kentuck withdraws suit after Northport business changes name
By WVUA 23 Student News Reporter Caleb Aguayo
The now-former Kentuck Nutrition has rebranded itself as KenTu Nutrition after Kentuck Art Center filed a trademark lawsuit against the business over its use of the Kentuck name.
In the lawsuit, Kentuck Art Center claimed the business was infringing on its legal trademark of the word “Kentuck,” which was filed Jan. 31 and is still awaiting approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to the trademark application, which you can check out right here, Kentuck Art Center’s first time using the name was Sept. 5, 1974.
Kentuck withdrew its lawsuit against the business after owner Cathy Logan agreed to change the name.
Now known as KenTu Nutrition, Logan said the new name will do nothing but help her business, which sells drinks Logan said she formulates herself. The business also uses Herbalife products.
“KenTu just stuck out to me,” Logan said. “I like the way it rolls off your tongue. It just fits for what I do every day.”
In a statement released by the Kentuck Art Center Wednesday, Kentuck Executive Director Amy Echols said she’d tried contacting Logan before filing the suit, but never heard anything back. The full text of the statement from Kentuck is below:
Kentuck has a legal duty to defend and protect trademarks associated with Kentuck Art Center & Festival. If Kentuck did not defend its Trademarks, then Kentuck would be in in jeopardy of losing them. Hoping for an amicable, out-of-court resolution, multiple attempts were made to discuss these issues with the Logan’s legal representative, but were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, when Kentuck received no response, Kentuck had no choice under law but to defend the trademark and file suit.
Kentuck now understands the name has been changed and is happy to dismiss the lawsuit.
Kentuck wishes Kentu Nutrition every success.
That’s not accurate, Logan said, because she did in fact respond to Echols in early March and was already working on changing her store’s name as early as mid-March. The text of the letter Logan sent Echols is below:
March 3, 2023
To: Amy Echols, Executive Director Kentuck Art Center
From: Cathy Logan, Owner Kentuck Nutrition LLC
Thank you so much for taking time in reading my letter and I hope this letter finds you and your entire team in good spirits.
My intentions for this letter and my sincerest hope is to offer and provide clarity but also engage your office and your leadership team in a very respectful tone to add value to the situation and understand each other’s perspectives.
My passion for food, nutrition, and health have led me to create a small startup minority African American woman owned business here in the city I love, where I was born & raised in and where I’m currently raising my two boys with my husband Jay Logan. There is a growing number of African American owned small businesses located in our city limits, in fact it’s the first of such kind truly owned by an African American woman in the City of Northport. I am so blessed and excited to be in the City of Northport and it was important that I keep my business in the City of Northport, thus the reason why my love for my city and its amazing history led me to call my new startup Kentuck Nutrition, to pay homage to the City’s historical roots, its beginnings, and its first name of the City of Northport. Its well known that Kentuck or Cane tuck was the first name given to Northport.
Kentuck Nutrition is a startup exactly 90 days opened; however we hope it will become a top tier health and nutrition shop specializing in healthy smoothies, healthy meal replacement shakes, clean energizing teas, fund hydration drinks for kids, and health centered goodies. Our need for this type of service for not only our entire City but more especially the minority community was the driving force with health disparities in underserved communities but our overall community of Northport focusing on not only the health of women, but a variety of people to the local shift worker, to the local student athlete, but more importantly the journey we take with them. I would love the opportunity to sit with your team and talk more about how my niche business is adding value to the local small business ecosystem and how I would love the chance to find ways we can discuss initiatives to work together, to add value, and support the entire efforts of Kentuck Arts Center to further arts in our community. To give true support to your organization and inroads to areas where there haven’t been in the past in the African American and or underserved communities.
I have received the complaint letter from your attorney and I must say with sincere respect my intentions were not to be nefarious, or ill intended and I certainly did not set out to deliberately infringe on the name or organization of Kentuck Art Center. I have researched this with my attorney and in our opinion, we think there is no violation of your current trademark as it’s a geographically recognized location and a historical name which could be enforced if we were a competing business, which we area not. I would like as mention discuss ways to add value to your organization so that we both can support each other and discuss this further.
I have cited my contact phone information and email below.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter Amy,
(Phone number redacted)
In an interview with WVUA 23 earlier this week, Logan said she wasn’t even thinking about the Kentuck Art Center when she named her business. She named it after Kentuck Park.
Echols said she did get Logan’s letter, but it does not address the business changing its name. That’s why she didn’t address it in her statement Wednesday.
“(Logan) is not lying,” Echols said. “She did send a letter. I read it and I asked my attorneys, ‘Can I call her?’ They said ‘The best way to do this, to legally keep your trademark, is to let her attorney handle it,’ because (the letter) is just saying that she’s not going to change it.”
Logan’s lack of response regarding changing the name led Kentuck’s lawyers to file the suit in March. If they didn’t, Echols said, they could close the rights to the name “Kentuck.” Companies and organizations are often litigious when it comes to protecting their trademarks because a trademark becomes unenforceable once it is widely used.
Regardless, Logan and Echols said they’re relieved the legal ordeal has been settled.