Tasty Burger Continues Its Legal Battle Against Chipotle’s Tasty Made
It’s been about three months since Tasty Burger filed a cease and desist letter against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. over its new Tasty Made burger brand, but the fast food behemoth hasn’t done a thing about it. The first Tasty Made location opens today in the Midwest, and to mark the occasion, Boston-based Tasty Burger has filed a new, consolidated notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“We seek to prevent the issuance of registration of all Tasty Made marks on the Principal Register, and have done so as a timely response to the submission for publication of the Tasty Made marks,” Tasty Burger CEO David DuBois said in a statement issued this morning. “This type of protection is necessary against a competitor who willfully uses a confusingly similar name and marks, despite being made aware of the confusion.”
For its part, Chipotle says there is not and will be no confusion over the similarly named, similar concepts, which both use similarly red, similarly rectangular signage.
“We are confident in our position regarding this intellectual property, and continue to believe that these two concepts can successfully co-exist,” spokesman Chris Arnold says.
Tasty Burger isn’t actually on the government agency’s principal trademark list. The company name is a supplemental trademark, because the Patent and Trademark Office ruled it’s more descriptive (i.e., it’s a burger that is tasty) versus being a sufficiently unique brand name, Arnold says.
“That mark is not guaranteed the same protections as if it were on the principal list,” he says.
Tasty Made, which opens in Lancaster, Ohio, today at 10 a.m., is a classic burgers-fries-and-shakes concept from the company best known for its Mexican grill locations, which was in the news this year for being linked to an E. coli outbreak that sickened people in 14 states, as well as many who fell ill with norovirus, including 80-plus at its Cleveland Circle location.
Tasty Burger, which has five locations in Boston and one in Washington, D.C., is a classic burgers-fries-and-shakes concept from the Boston-based Franklin Restaurant Group. DuBois and company also operate two locations of Franklin Cafe, Citizen Public House in Fenway, and the forthcoming Our Fathers’ Deli in Allston. Tasty Burger has named trademarks in the U.S., Canada, most of the European Union, and in 11 other countries. It has plans to grow globally.
“Frankly, as a $12 billion Goliath, Chipotle knows full well an independent business like Tasty Burger only has two choices: stand the ground and weather the storm both financially and legally, or let them steamroll over us,” DuBois said. “We owe it to our millions of loyal customers all over the world to continue to fight to protect our name and likeness. We owe it to smaller businesses all over the country to not fold under the pressure of a powerful corporate aggressor. And, we owe it to ourselves to defend the many years of hard work that went into creating and growing a national brand from the ground up.”