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In-N-Out Takes Trademark Complaints to Court

In-N-Out Takes Trademark Complaints to Court


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Known for its fierce protection of its trademarks, In-N-Out Burger is in court again with a complaint against Grab-N-Go Burger in Maryland for using similar logo colors, trade-dress and menu descriptions as the Irvine, Calif.-based burger chain.

The most recent lawsuit, filed last week, contends that the single-unit Grab-N-Go Burger in Aberdeen, Md., uses a red-and-yellow logo similar to In-N-Out’s, as well as a comparable interior color scheme. Grab-N-Go also serves a “wild style burger,” which In-N-Out’s attorneys contend mimics the trademarked “Animal Style” option on the California chain’s widely publicized “secret menu.”

Grab-N-Go has not filed a response in court, and attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful at press time.

In-N-Out has in recent years vigorously battled what the company’s attorneys have argued are trademark violations. The lawsuits have typically been settled or dropped after the court forces the defendant to make changes. Numerous suits over the years have included both restaurants and businesses outside the industry.

Among them are In-N-Out Smog Check and In N’ Out Payday Advance, as well as In-N-Out Pizza, In & Out Wraps and Nicky’s In-N-Out Gyros, according to court filings.
More recent lawsuits have focused on features such as the names of menu items and trade-dress colors and design.

In 2007, In-N-Out reportedly sued a Utah-based burger chain called Chadder’s, which listed menu items like the “double double,” similar to a burger on In-N-Out’s menu, which at the time was planning to expand into Utah.

The three-unit Chadder’s chain appears to have closed, with phone numbers disconnected.

In March, In-N-Out sued ConAgra Foods Inc. for its use of the phrase “Quality You Can Taste” on Hunt’s ketchup bottles. In-N-Out argued that the registered phrase is closely associated with its brand, according to court documents, as it has been using it on signage and packaging for years.

RELATED: Breaking down better burgers

Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out’s vice president and general counsel, said in a statement Tuesday that the company has been working hard to develop the unique look and feel of its restaurants since its inception in 1948.

“Consumers have come to associate our ‘In-N-Out’ name, yellow arrow, long-standing colors, restaurant décor, menu design and unique menu items, such as ‘Animal Style’ burgers, with the highest in food quality and freshness,” he said. “We will always vigorously defend our trademarks and trade-dress against any and all copycats and imitators, but, as in every case, we also look for friendly resolutions with all parties.”

— Lisa Jennings


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).


512(f) Preempts Tortious Interference Claim–Copy Me That v. This Old Gal

“Copy Me That” (I’m pretty sure no IP lawyer recommended that name–it’s like a confession for copyright defendants) makes an app to help users manage recipes. “This Old Gal” (again, who comes up with these names?) publishes recipes. This Old Gal complained to Copy Me That that its users were copying its recipes. This implicates some tough issues about the copyrightability of recipes, but the opinion sidesteps all that. In response to This Old Gal’s complaint, Copy Me That removed This Old Gal’s recipes from the service and blocked future sharing. You’d think this fixed the problem, but apparently not. Instead, This Old Gal filed complaints with Apple to get Copy Me That kicked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple did indeed kick it out and said it would reinstate Copy Me That only after it resolved the matter with This Old Gal. Copy Me That thus filed a declaratory judgment action in court, and it added a tortious interference cause of action.

The court dismisses the tortious interference claim out because Section 512(f) preempts it. This is one of the cruel ironies of 512(f): courts treat it as the exclusive remedy for wrongful 512 takedown notices, but 512(f) cases never win either, so victims of wrongful takedowns have no redress in practice. If Congress gets serious about 512 reform, the 512(f) conundrum needs fixing.

The court says This Old Gal’s complaint to Apple was an allegedly false infringement notification. The fact that This Old Gal’s notice to Apple didn’t comply with 512(c)(3) just highlights its 512(f) deficiency. Having established that, the “DMCA preempts state law because of its comprehensive scheme addressing the submission of false infringement notices.”

The case subsequently settled, so we don’t know if Copy Me That could get around this block. Either way, chalk this up as another failure of 512(f).



Comments:

  1. Palaemon

    Attempt not torture.

  2. Blayne

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  3. Reinhard

    In my opinion you are not right. Write to me in PM, we'll talk.

  4. Pippin

    Anuka!

  5. Jugor

    I am able to advise you on this issue and, in particular, are committed to participating in the discussion.

  6. Gukora

    Very interesting!!! Only I can not quite understand how often your blog is updated?



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