Today in Trademark Abuse news

La guerra de los Jarritos: Multinational manufacturer of repulsive sugar-water sues tiny, 22-year-old Mexican restaurant for naming their restaurant after the same kind of ancient clay pot that they did. SPOILER ALERT: restaurant caves because they can't afford to fight.
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12 Responses:

  1. fightingwords says:

    Well, that's infuriating.

  2. vomitrocity says:

    Jarritos is delicious. :(

    (Hey, my captcha words are relevant! "of sameness" lol.)

  3. elusis says:

    Oh, similar shit is happening right here in Oakland.

    • autopope says:

      The golden arches tried to pull that shit here in Scotland, on a fish'n'chip shop named after it's proprietor (one Mr MacDonald).

      They were spanked out of court, and ended up paying the defendant's expenses.

      • blaisepascal says:

        The version of the story I heard was that it was a bed and breakfast proprietor, and that he wasn't just Mr. MacDonald, he was The MacDonald, hereditary head of the clan.

        Some checking seems to indicate that it isn't true. What does appear to be true is that when McDonalds sued a Scottish-themed snack store named McMunchies in the UK, Lord Geoffry MacDonald promised to rally to the defense of anyone in his clan who was threatened by a trademark suit for using the clan name in a business by McDonalds.

    • jered says:

      1) I agree this is shit, although part of the problem is that trademark law requires this kind of shit, but mostly it's overly aggressive lawyers,

      2) HOWEVER, the "Little Mac" people are full of shit too. If they said, "we thought it was a funny joke, and we believe it is defensible under trademark law," then I'd be find with them. But they are _totally full of shit_ when they claim that their name as nothing to do with McDonalds, and that it reflects the fact that they want to have a small ecological footprint. I don't buy that for half a second. I think it's a very good name for a mac'n'cheese shop for the same reason they did, "Big Mac"/"Little Mac". Har har.

  4. rivetpepsquad says:

    Aw! I love that place!

  5. lherrera says:

    So, you can trademark nouns, as long it's in some strange foreign language?

    • gytterberg says:

      You can trademark whatever you want. I could trademark Hotdog and sell golf balls under that name, and then sue the pants off you for starting a Hotdog brand golf club company. You're thinking of copyright. I guess.

    • strspn says:

      Trademarks have to have no strong relation to what they are being used to represent and restaurants are sufficiently different than jars. I'm not sure what difference the language makes.

      • xoruglm says:

        What threat does a small family owned restaurant have to a multinational corporation? Maybe the corporation has the right to sue, but why should they?

        • strspn says:

          Trademark lawyers are required to send a letter in situations such as these, but those who really know how to bill prefer to initiate a lawsuit. The technicality is probably that sugar water is defined to be food.