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Florida Restaurant Alleges Trademark Infringement

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CR Chicks2Florida restaurant, C.R. Chicks brought a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Michigan Restauranteur, causing the Michigan proprietor to give up his restaurants’ name, C.R. Smokin Chicks, and go back to the drawing board in his efforts to name his restaurant, according to an article in The Detroit News.

Ironically, this is only one of several names Gary Baja has turned to in his seemingly never-ending efforts to name his restaurant in a way that avoids claims of trademark infringement from others.

He initially started the eatery with the name, Mother Cluckers, back in 2004.  That name was abandoned since the landlord found it distasteful.  When the restaurant’s name was changed to C.R. Smokin Chicks, Florida restaurant chain, C.R. Chicks, alleged trademark infringement.

In an effort to resolve the matter, the owner Gary Baja put black duct tape over the letters C.R. so only the Smokin Chicks would show a seen below (if you look carefully, you will see the tape):

Smokin Chicks Sign

Smokin Chicks did not last very long either as another trademark attorney alleged trademark infringement over a Missouri restaurant called Smokin’ Chix.  So Gary added ribs to the menu and changed the name to Smokin’ Ribs and Chicks.  The trademark office rejected this name as well based on a conflict with an other Missouri restaurant.

In the meantime, a local talk show station is accepting name nominations.

The moral of the story for Florida businesses seeking to avoid trademark litigation?

Get a good Florida trademark attorney that understands Florida trademark law as well as federal practice as well as related intellectual property doctrines including copyright law BEFORE you spend a lot of time and money in naming your business.

Why someone with a broad intellectual property background instead of just a national firm focusing on federal trademark pratice?  Well, ou want your lawyer to have multiple tools available to him with which to assist you.

Remember the old proverb, "if all you have is a hammer…..than everything will will look like a nail".

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