February 09, 2010
Burger Wars Are Back--HAG LLC v. B&I Enterprises
HAG LLC v. B&I Enterprises, 9:10-cv-80127-KAM (S.D. Fla. complaint filed Jan. 26, 2010)
Over the past 5 years, I have repeatedly blogged about over-the-top commercial burger offerings, including:
The latest burger wars are similarly over-the-top gastronomically, but they are especially noteworthy because they have also spilled into a courtroom. Heart Attack Grill, an Arizona restaurant, has sued Heart Stoppers Sports Grill, a Florida restaurant, for allegedly ripping off its trade dress and concept. Both restaurants have a number of similar/identical product attributes that self-mock their unhealthy menus. Ha ha.
From a legal standpoint, the plaintiff's position is legally aggressive but not clearly wrong given the amorphous nature of trademark and trade dress law. The good news (to me) is that the law might be ambiguous enough to lock both litigants into a death struggle that knocks both of them out of the marketplace. That would be appropriate karma. Unfortunately, my guess is that the average American consumer will be delighted to learn of the latest disgustingly unhealthy burger options, so both restaurants will experience a spike in traffic due to the added publicity from the lawsuit. Perhaps this gives new meaning to the phrase "eat your heart out."
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