5Pointz mid-demolition (photo by  changsterdam/Flickr)

5Pointz mid-demolition (photo by changsterdam/Flickr)

The owner of 5Pointz, the former artists’ studio complex and graffiti center in Queens that is currently being demolished, is trying to trademark the name “5Pointz” in order to market the apartments that will be built on the lot, DNAinfo reported.

G&M Realty, which plans to build two towers containing 1,000 rental apartments on the property, filed a trademark application in March for the name “5Pointz,” though it was turned down on June 17 because a real estate developer in California called FivePoint Communities Management, Inc. has trademarked a name (“FivePoint Communities”) that was deemed too similar given that the two companies do such similar work.

The examining attorney on G&M Realty’s application ruled that “the applicant’s mark [5Pointz], when used on or in connection with the identified goods/services, so resembles the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3899912 [FivePoint Communities] as to be likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive.”

This in spite of the stylized conventions of the respective names, such as the missing space and expressive “z” in “5Pointz,” or the counter-intuitively singular “point” in FivePoint Communities and the company’s use of the Roman numeral for five (“V”) in its logo.

G&M Realty has six months, or until December 17, to respond to the US Patent and Trademark Office decision if it hopes to pursue a trademark for “5Pointz.”

“It’s ironic that the same corporation which single-handedly destroyed all the artwork known as 5Pointz is trying to capitalize on its name,” Marie Cecile Flageul, a spokesperson for the graffiti center’s artists, told DNAinfo.

Jerry Wolkoff, the owner of the site and head of G&M Realty, remains optimistic that the new development can and should retain given to the former art space by the artists. “The building is known as 5Pointz,” Wolkoff told DNAinfo. “The building is going to be back and the artists are going to be back.”

The new complex set to rise on the property — which is located across Jackson Avenue from MoMA PS1, between Crane and Davis streets — is set to include 12,000 square feet devoted to artists’ studios. Walls on the exterior and interior of the new complex will also be made available to graffiti artists.

To recap the highlights and eventual destruction of 5Pointz, check out Hyperallergic’s previous posts on the fight to save the once colorful cultural hub.

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...