Burger Beast Blogger Gets Cease and Desist Email From Miami-Dade

Categories: Food Fights
Thumbnail image for TheBurgerBeastatmago.jpg
Burger Beast Sef Gonzalez (right) -- just in it for the burgers.
In another episode of our regularly scheduled program about Miami-Dade government -- titled Hey, Miami, What the F**k? -- Burger Beast blogger and all-around hamburger fan Sef Gonzalez was sent a "cease and desist" email yesterday from Assistant County Attorney Thomas W. Logue.

In the email (What? Miami-Dade can't afford to send these things via snail mail anymore?), Logue states, "County officials have discovered that your business is illegally using the County Sled Trademark in your advertisements and T-shirt sales."

First of all, let's compare the logos side by side:

logosidebyside.jpg
What in hell is Miami-Dade doing with a "sled" for a logo? It's Miami! Shouldn't it have a palm tree?

Doesn't the county have anything better to do than go after bloggers who like burgers? Let's face it -- Sef ain't getting rich on his advertising and T-shirt sales. In fact, I wonder how he affords all of those burgers, because he's not raking in the big bucks.

You know who's making money, by the way? Thomas Logue, the Miami-Dade assistant county attorney who sent this whacked email.

According to the website the Watchdog Data Sleuth, Logue made about $252,178 in 2008.

According to payscale.com, a blogger makes $18,000 to $33,000 a year (yup, that's about right). Throw in a few free burgers here and there and you still have someone who will forever be driving a Kia instead of a BMW.

Gonzalez spoke to me yesterday evening. He said he won't hire an attorney because he doesn't want to get in some huge, costly battle with the county. Oh, and the big T-shirt-selling enterprise that the county is so concerned about? Gonzalez ordered 50 tees to sell. If he makes ten bucks profit on each one, that's a measly $500 -- or about 60 burgers to feed the Beast.

We're all aware of how the food trucks are getting jerked around, but at least they're small-business owners out to make a profit. Gonzalez's Burger Beast blog is done out of love for (and a little craziness about) the Miami food scene. Who'll the county  try to shake down next -- the Girl Scouts? Some little kid's lemonade stand?

BurgerBeastLogo copy.jpg
Hey, Spielberg, you OK with this?
Gonzalez has a clear sense of humor, as seen in his Burger Beast logo, a play on Jurassic Park. Instead of a T-Rex, there's a chubby guy eating a hamburger. If Spielberg didn't go after him, why does Miami-Dade have a beef?

The only crime Burger Beast committed was riffing on a logo that's generic and ugly.

Read the entire email (and feel free to get really angry):

From: Logue, Thomas (CAO) LOGUE@miamidade.gov
Date: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM
Subject: Illegal Use of Miami-Dade County "Sled" Logo -- "Miami Food Trucks"
To: info@miamifoodtrucks.com
Cc: "Guemes, Frank (GIC)" FG1@miamidade.gov<

County officials have discovered that your business is illegally using the County Sled Trademark in your advertisements and T-Shirt sales. They have referred this matter to this office to stop your illegal infringement.

Miami-Dade County created and owns this mark. It has registered this Mark with the Florida Department of State. It has continually used it for decades. For these reason, Miami-Dade County has an intellectual property right in this Mark.

The Mark is associated in the minds of the public with the government of Miami-Dade County.  Your illegal use is so similar to the County's Mark that it will confuse the public into thinking the County government is involved in the ownership, management, or operations of your business or has adopted or endorsed your product, when the County government has taken no such official action.

Your use of this Mark constitutes a violation of the law that subjects you to a lawsuit for an injunction, actual damages (which can be calculated based upon the value of your illegal use to your business as well as damage to the County), statutory damages set at the discretion of the Court, and attorney's fees. See, e.g., section 495.141, Fla. Stat.

You are directed, within 7 days from receipt of this letter, to (1) stop your illegal use of this Mark; and (2) confirm in writing with this office that you have agreed to stop all such illegal use. Unless we receive the letter in this timeframe, we will proceed to take the legal steps necessary to protect the County's position.

I would appreciate it if you or your attorney would call me at your earliest convenience.

Thomas W. Logue

Assistant County Attorney

111 N.W. 1st Street

Miami, Fl 33128

Direct Dial - 305-375-5067

Fax 305-375-5634


Legal Assistant - Silvia Armenteros- 305-375-3925

logue@miamidade.gov


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60 comments
Coonta Kinday
Coonta Kinday

the burger beast is a grotesque moron. what did he think would happen? he'd pass off this cute, [un]inspired logo which belongs to the county, try to  make a buck off of it, and no one would notic? Well, I guess with their relatively small facebook following of 11,000 there was a possibility of pulling it off for a little while, but sooner or later, someone was going to catch wind - and in this case, it was much sooner than this killer whale probably thought.

I'm all for the food trucks, but word on the street is they have a pretty careless attitude about picking up behind them and doing things right @ their venues.. It seems they hold a false sense of entitlement and demand everyone's respect based on a short, patchy track record. Maybe if they did things the right way, they'd receive more love from the county/the rest of the public...This will probably set them back I imagine...

Stone Groove
Stone Groove

 This wouldnt be going down if luke was mayor right now...you'd be able to use that Logo and get a free Lapdance @ king of diamonds... Disgust.  Definitely not Vice.

Aleneeg
Aleneeg

Logue needs to learn some grammar.

jhaldane@gmail.com
jhaldane@gmail.com

Interesting. Sad however how almost every last article on the net is littered with ignorant asses who have nothing better to do than troll about. Either way, I believe the wade county t-shirts were just black, white and red? The heat organization probably took the time to research the limits on infringement, so as to not run into this problem ... not like the fat piece of crap burger beast. 

ullrich
ullrich

 First, directing any personal attack at BB is telling with regards, to what type of individuals we are dealing with. The modified “logo” if that’s what you want to call it is at worst a satirically flattering use of an almost completely refurbished irrelevant logo for what is supposed to be a non for profit county government. Want to talk trademarks, hate to break it to you but I understand what infringement is and isn’t however, isn’t a tax payer backed supposedly publically owned “logo” property of the taxpayers, meaning, all residents of Miami Dade County? Mr. Gonzalez’s spoof of the sled implies to most reasonable people that his food truck organizing endeavors are not in any way shape or affiliated  with Dade County the entity. Further, the Beast’s primary logo has nothing to do with Dade County, or a sled, so I don’t understand why some of the loosely connected references indicating that it does are making this absurd claim. BB has already indicated that hey will submit and move on, so I am left to believe that the ones who are focusing their attack on him are probably not as benevolent or as clear thinking as they claim to be.  TA TA     

Socko2u
Socko2u

Here's one for you Lets take the BB logo (ripped off) and instead of a chubby guy lets replace him with a thin guy eating French Fries and call him the Fry Guy blogger same color scheme same font Now would you think that that was part of Burger Beast, How would you react to that Mr Beast. Just a thought!!!!

Eotws
Eotws

If your client comes to you and tells you that they think their logo is being infringed upon without their consent, any attorney would have done what this attorney did. If you find fault with it, blame the client, not the attorney.

Socko2u
Socko2u

Sorry the county is right on this one Take a step back with your angry words and think what you are saying. they have every right to protect their Logo just as you have with yours. as far as this article was written Poor taste in angle you are going to make it even worse the county should go after the paper for this blatant piece of trashy writing..... WOW  words without wisdom!!

Please Find a New Editor
Please Find a New Editor

I am a fan of Burger Beast, the Food Trucks, and the independent restaurants in town.  More than just promoting, I take advise and spend my money at these establishments.

Despite this, the county has a right to not allow the logo.  I'm sure New Times is making a bigger deal out of this than Sef.  It's just another stupid story that garners attention because a publication picks up on it.  

While I far from agree with the local politics, I agree less with the shoddy journalism in this town.  I really wish that someone new would take over the reigns at New Times and start building a reputation as a reputable source of information.

ullrich
ullrich

Big bloated government at its best, keep voting for those special programs you all want people, won’t be long till Moochell Obama makes food trucks the target of her move on campaign

Scott
Scott

 First there logo is not trade marked or registered. They can't either because they are a goverment and can't trade make name. Tell them no till they get a court order. 

Lauraflores0807
Lauraflores0807

Douche all the way....they need to worry about how currupt...oops i mean how they steal...double oops I mean...the county as a whole

errandwolfe
errandwolfe

 What friend of a county commissioner did this guy give a bad review to?

it's stealing, stupid
it's stealing, stupid

Doss. It's called taking something that's not yours without permission and making money off of it. That you didn't even address this obvious legal issue indicates your lack of knowledge. 

All this guy had to do was ask for permission. Anyway, it's a pretty unoriginal logo that probably took 10 minutes to make.

I also love food truck gatherings. They're great for this fractured community.

Jackiechiles
Jackiechiles

you guys are almost as dumb as the misguided and misinformed author of this nonsense. Open Los ojos. This is a blatant ripoff of intellectual property. The Burger Beast logo is even worse. I highly doubt Sef Monster wants to testify on his intentions regarding either. This is illegal and actionable. Soon Beast will be begging for burgers like Wimpy from Popeye and he will wither away and soon like Olive. Keep up the good work Short Order. Whoever wrote this ignorant piece should be fired. If it don't fit you must acquit

Lilly
Lilly

Nothing against Burger Beast, but infringement is infringement, made more dubious by trying to profit off it. The county is acting like any business would, protecting their brand. Big fish, little fish, every business has that right.

 

Krowsnest
Krowsnest

Really, they've got nothing better to do? As a graphic designer, I can't deny the similarities and legalities associated with it. Why don't we all pitch in and give Sef a rockin new logo.

Albert John Henry Horn
Albert John Henry Horn

That is absurd.  Who the hell cares?? No one in Miami is going to give a hoot about what logo belongs to what.  I do not think anyone would really care.  Just sounds like someone does not have enough to do.

CR
CR

Plain and simple, should've asked for permission to use the county logo. Blatant trademark infringement. Go email that burgerbeast logo to universal pictures and I'm sure they'll follow with a lawsuit as well. You said it yourself that bloggers don't make tons of money, so if he's planning on taking on the county he's going to spend thousands in legal fees and will most likely lose in the end.

I'm a total burgerbeast fan n promote whenever I can, but I still believe in the law and there's reasons we have copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.

And for everyone complaining about the government, if you're a Miami Dade resident and you haven't voted for the new mayor, then shut it.

JD
JD

Well, to be honest, I could see the similarity between the logos. Burger Beast could have gotten away with it if he had also changed colors - like the blue sled mark for the black tire marks the truck would make. Right now, the color pattern and as well as the shapes or "motion" as well as text placement are all too similar that even I could see how there's at least ONE person out of 2 million plus in this county that might think the logo may have to do with the county government. 

Info
Info

I can't believe this. With everything else going on in this flippin county they are concerned about a dumb logo. Miami-Dade government you stink. Can't catch the big fish so you try to drown us little fish. Concern yourself with bigger issues, and not small business entrepreneurs trying to make a buck.

Thecupcakediva
Thecupcakediva

 Team Sef vs team Miami Dade! I want a shirt that says TEAM SEf!!!! What a bunch of assholes! 

Joan Nova
Joan Nova

 Well stated! The county needs to get a sense of humor.

Rubenurgell
Rubenurgell

What about the Miami wade county logo?

VOICEGUY
VOICEGUY

I CALLED HIM AND LEFT HIM A POLITE MSG TO TELL HIM WHAT BS THIS IS ON HIS PART--THERE IS SOOOO MUCH MORE HE COULD BE DOING WITH HIS TIME THAT BETTER SERVES THIS COMMUNITY. YOU SHOULD WRITE UP A SMALL LETTER WE CAN ALL COPY AND PASTE TO SEND HIM FROM OUR EMAILS. 

jose G.
jose G.

What a moron once again it shows how this banana republic is so in bed with special interests. 1 guy trying to sell a few t shirts and they get a lawyer to send him a letter... I want my taxes reduced next your with the waste of time of this moronic lawyer esq ding dong... http://www.stalbertgazette.com... 

BigBottoms
BigBottoms

"Instead of a T-Rex, there's a chubby guy eating a hamburger."

Obese, not chubby.  Quite unhealthy thing to promote.

Michael Marko
Michael Marko

I would revers the logo and just wait for them to file. You can always ask for mediation and then just agree to stop, if it gets that far. 

Jacob Katel
Jacob Katel

That's Sef and Burger Dad at El Mago De Las Fritas btw. The Burger Beast does more to support local mom and pop's than the damn county, and the only reason they probably know about the logo is because some tax paid employee was looking at food blogs on county time

Bone Lee Tadpole
Bone Lee Tadpole

 WOW....!!!!!!  What GREAT EXPOSURE...!!!!!!!    Burger Beast Rocks....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    F*ck'em,  and once Sef gets National Recognition,  we'll see who starts claiming the "Home Town Boy"....!!!!!

Terry
Terry

The only cease & desist he deserves is one from his arteries. Get a life Miami. 

Petermcelwain09
Petermcelwain09

I did not think Miami-Dade County had any intellectual property.

Justice?
Justice?

geez, what a shame but I hope I still the t-shirt I ordered from the Beast....Miami administrators are just a joke.  

Alshouse23
Alshouse23

Dade county really needs to wake up!!! Worried about a fat boy making  a couple dollars they need to clean up all the piece of shit attorneys and politicians and put them all in jail for robbing us blind daily

anon1
anon1

 This is a waste of the county's resources. Can't Logue get a job somewhere as a real attorney?

Johnnycochrane
Johnnycochrane

You don't think those look similar? another fail for Doss

TEED-off taxpayer
TEED-off taxpayer

Best. Answer. Ever.

It's disgusting how this county finds money to pay this imbecilic lawyer, investigate a frigging logo and subsidize the marlins (I refuse to capitalize them and their corporate welfare) and has no money for JMH, schools , etc. They go after someone who has done a great deal of POSITIVE publicity for the county (instead of their scandals) and kickbacks to their buddies.

Shame on you dade county (yeah another refusal to capitalize)

Nycgator
Nycgator

Beast: please call Uncle Luke Campbell. He knows how to fight the county!! Maybe when he wins as mayor he wil allow you to keep the damn logo!!

JD
JD

You are dumb + those cupcakes are shit!

Socko2u
Socko2u

they had permission!! are you that much of a moron you must live in the county!!!

jose g
jose g

Que ganas de comer Mierda alaboooooo.... 

vikingwarbrides
vikingwarbrides

The image didn't go through  O.o.  I was referring to the early versions of the "MiamiWade County" T-shirts.

Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran

I don't think anyone is arguing similarities. Question here is: doesn't the county have more important things to focus on?

CR
CR

Jose - did you completely ignore my comment above? The heat and the county worked together on the wade county logo. Get your facts right.

Thechowfather
Thechowfather

This is what the editor has to say? plagiarize much??? Good example you set.   

Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran

Yea, and? So the county is a greedy and selective bureaucracy. We'd be better off living in total anarchy.

Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran

You can't reply to a reply to a reply. That's Disqus' controls not mine. You are nothing but a troll looking for validation.

Thechowfather
Thechowfather

Haha  you're too dumb to even understand the comment (*see below-he set it up so you can't reply to it so he gets final say) Get a clue schmuck.   

Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran

Who the hell said anything about plagiarism? This is not plagiarism as no one is passing off the work as their own. This could be considered parody which then would make it fair use. And as several people have pointed out, where were the county attorneys when Wade County tees were being printed? Chowfather go troll somewhere else, you add nothing of value.

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