A Las Vegas restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill has filed suit against a Tennessee restaurant calling itself the Heart Attack Shack, claiming trademark infringement. HAG IP, LLC v. Tipps Enterprises Inc., No. 17­-0652, (M.D. Ky., filed March 29, 2017). The Las Vegas restaurant, which claims trademarks on its Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass burgers and Flatliner Fries, alleges that the Tennessee restaurant, which features burgers, wings and “Flatliner XL” fries, has infringed its trademarks. In a February 2017 article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the defendant owner claimed he named his restaurant after a “heart attack” burger on the menu of a restaurant that previously occupied his location. For trademark infringement of registered marks, the plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, accounting, damages, attorney’s fees and destruction of all promotional materials bearing the trademarks.

In 2012, after the plaintiff sent a cease and desist letter to New York’s Second Avenue Deli, which features “Instant Heart Attack” and “Triple Bypass” sandwiches on its menu, the deli filed suit. A New York federal court ruled the deli could use its sandwich names, finding it “safe to say that even an unsophisticated customer could readily differentiate between a Manhattan kosher deli and its latke-­based sandwich and a Las Vegas ‘medically-themed’ restaurant that features gluttonous cheeseburgers.”

 

Issue 629

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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