7-Eleven is a massive company with more than 7,000 locations nationwide. 7-Even is a convenience store with a single location on N. Eutaw St. in Northwest Baltimore. So why is 7-Eleven spending time and money to sue 7-Even for millions of dollars?

It all comes down to protecting the brand.

In court documents filed Oct. 22, lawyers for 7-Eleven ask a judge to order 7-Even owner Daniel Geda to pay $2 million, and cease using the name of his store and icy sugar beverage. They argue that Geda’s store infringes on the copyright for 7-Eleven and Slurpees by displaying its logo in a similar fashion to 7-Eleven, and illegally naming its “semi-frozen soft drinks” after the company’s. In an especially entertaining bit of legalese, they also argue that 7-Even’s actions amount to “Unfair Competition.”

Even so, why pick on the little guy? Probably because they’ll win.

In a WBAL-TV report on the lawsuit, lawyer Jim Astrachan said that the perception of trademark infringement is a “very, very difficult box to get out of” with a judge. And the stronger the brand, the more the court is likely to see your side, Astrachan told the station.

For his part, Geda told the station that he’s willing to change the name of his store so it wouldn’t be confused with 7-Eleven’s 25 Baltimore locations.

Thank heaven.**

**Note: “Oh” was omitted so as not to infringe upon trademarked phrase, “Oh, Thank Heaven”)

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.