Warner Bros. has reportedly obtained a trademark to use the name.
So no one told you life was going to be this way… When you moved to New York City, you figured you’d spend all your time hanging out with your friends at a coffeehouse called Central Perk. Then you realized that—outside of a one-time-only pop-up that briefly opened in 2014—Central Perk was actually just a fictional coffee shop created for the show Friends that doesn’t exist in real life. At least, not yet, but that could change. Reportedly, earlier this month, Warner Bros. Entertainment, who owns the rights to the show, trademarked the use of Central Perk to potentially run cafes in the future.
According to The Blast, court documents show that Warner Bros. was granted a trademark not only for the name “Central Perk,” but also its logo, for potential use with “Coffee shop and café services; coffee bars; tea bars; snack bars.” Additionally, the entertainment giant reportedly filed to reserve the right to use the name on other products such as toys, board games, and slot machines, but that request is still pending.
It’s important to keep in mind that simply trademarking a name and logo doesn’t mean that Warner Bros. will actually ever open any Central Perk cafes. However, the fact that the company put in the request is interesting because, since Warner Bros. already owns the show, it also already has the rights to the content within the show—like the name “Central Perk.” For example, Warner Bros. apparently already successfully prevented at least one Central Perk “parody café” from opening up in the past. So in theory, trademarking the name isn’t entirely necessary—that is, unless they have plans to use it.
What we do know, however, was that the aforementioned Central Perk pop-up which opened up in Manhattan to celebrated Friends’ 20th anniversary seemed popular, creating lines down the block and garnering positive reviews on Yelp. So at this point, it seems silly that an actual Central Perk hasn’t been opened yet.