Florida Based BONGOS Restaurant Chain Sues for Trademark Infringement
According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Gloria and Emilio Estefan have filed trademark infringement suits throughout the country, claiming that their restaurant Bongos name and concept are being used by others without their permission.
The Estefans claim that any other Bongos restaurant besides their flagship restaurant in Orlando and the one in South Beach are operating illegally. In May, the Estefans sued a Florida company for trademark infringement in federal court in Orlando. They are insisting that the owners of Coco Bongo’s on South Orange Blossom Trail stop using that name and turn over the profits derived from their business.
Thousands of trademark infringement suits are filed nationally each year. In the Middle District of Florida, which comprises the area from Fort Myers to Jacksonville, there was a 52% increase to 280 for such suits in the fiscal year of 2005. In 2001, this figure was at 184.
Last year, Estefan Enterprises, based in Miami, sued Coco Bongo in Tampa, successfully forcing the business to change its name. In 2004, the Estefans also reached a settlement in Houston, with Bongo’s Latin Grill & Bar, who subsequently changed their name to Havana Latin Grill & Bar.
The Estefans had Florida trademark attorney, Deborah Kramm, apply in 1996 and 1997 to register the Bongos Cuban Cafe phrase and logo with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.