In a recent article published by the New York Times, the competitive world of ice cream truck business was given an in-depth profile. In New York City, summertime means plenty of opportunities to purchase delicious ice cream treats from ice cream trucks. While this may seem like an innocent enough activity, behind of the scenes of turf wars over prime selling space is less than cheery.
The biggest target of the ice cream turf wars in the city is Mister Softee. In fact, the corporate office of Mister Softee said that its drivers are actually afraid to peddle their ice cream in the heart of the city for fear of being physically attacked by rival ice cream trucks.
The history of violence between rival ice cream truck drivers in New York City dates back to the 1960s. There are plenty documented incidents of physical altercations and vandalism against rival ice cream trucks since then. One of the major disputes between ice cream truck companies making headlines right now is the rift between New York Ice Cream and Mister Softee. The current owner of New York Ice Cream was a former driver affiliated with Mister Softee and has been accused of trademark infringement for painting over the logos and changing the names of the trucks that he was driving under the Mister Softee franchise. The owner of New York Ice Cream has been ordered by a federal court to pay more than $700,000 for his trademark infringement against Mister Softee.