Fastfood chain Smashburger has landed in a messy situation with In-N-Out Burger, a California based chain often described as having a cult following due to its loyal and vast customer base.
In-N-Out filed a suit yesterday alleging trademark infringement against Smashburger’s new “Triple Double” burger. Prior to filing this civil action, In-N-Out filed oppositions against Smashburger’s trademark applications with the USPTO, but it was able to file a civil suit once the new product was officially released in July.
In-N-Out claims it has continuously used its registered trademarks “DOUBLE-DOUBLE” and “TRIPLE TRIPLE” since both the 60’s and when they were registered in 1975 and 1990 respectively. In-N-Out argues that the new three-cheese, two-patty burger will cause customer confusion and dilute its marks. Consequently, it is asking for both damages and injunctive relief to prevent further risk of confusion.
This case could be an important decision to establish the strength of infringement claims based on combinations of marks that on their own may not be sufficient to state a claim.
Source: Courthouse News Service