[UPDATED: It's The Great Food Truck Race's Fault] The Lime Truck Sued for Alleged Trademark Infringement

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Photo by Christopher Victorio
UPDATE, JUNE 23, 8:28 A.M.: Gustavo here, so don't blame Edwin for my subsequent rant. Just got the paperwork for the lawsuit that some weak-sauce chain of "Mexican" food called Lime Fresh Mexican Grill filed in United States Federal Court, Southern District of Florida. Lime Fresh is alleging federal trademark infringement, unfair competition, false description and false designation of origin as to marks and is demanding that our boys "recall and deliver up for destruction" anything with the Lime Truck name, pay all attorneys fees in the suit, "recover [Lime Truck's] profits" from their recent Miami foray in The Great Food Truck Race--and have that amount TRIPLED.

What's the Latin for "weak sauce"?

lime_fresh_mexican_grill_png.jpg
Compare South Beach garishness...
The problem for Lime Fresh Mexican Grill is centered on how the Lime Truck uses the word "Lime" and how they present it. See that ugly-ass logo at left, epitome of retina-searing Floridian trash? That is the company's registered trademark. They also registered the word "LIME" "for takeout restaurant services" and "restaurant services," according to documents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Offices and obtained by the Weekly.

The problem for them is that they claim the Lime Truck ripped off both the name and the logo, "all with intent to deceive and confuse consumers and divert sales from Plaintiff," according to the complaint. That'd be a bunch of bullshit, given the Lime Truck operates in Southern California, and there's no way in hell we'd ever accept a Miami-based Mexican-food company to invade our shores--but then, this season's The Great Food Truck Race came roaring into their town for its conclusion, with the Lime Truck one of the finalists.

limetrucklogo.jpg
...with California cool...
Lime Fresh Bullshit got pissed because the Lime Truck parked near one of its locations on three occasions in the course of The Great Food Truck Race finale--once, "approximately 1 mile" from Lime Fresh, another time "just yards," and still another time "less than 2 miles.

The complaint continues, "As a result of the filming of The Great Food Truck Race, the widespread publicity surrounding the competition and filming of same, and the parking of the 'Lime' truck in close proximitiy to three of Plaintiff's LIME locations in Miami, Florida, Plaintiff experienced numerous instances of actual confusion between Plaintiff's LIME marks and Defendants' 'Lime' Truck."

Um, no. No way consumers would mistake a luxe lonchera with a sleek design for a chain that still offers "Southwestern" salads, whatever the hell those are. Lame Fresh also claims their marks "are widely recognized and relied upon by the public and the trade as identifying" them. HA! Sorry, sons, but nine locations in a state where Mexican food is a laugher hardly qualifies you as known.

Lime Fresh Pendejadas concludes by stating that the Lime Truck "caused and will continue to cause substantial and irreparable injury" to them, so it asks a judge to strip the Lime Truck of its name and throw down the aforementioned request for damages. Asking a judge to take away all the profits the Lime Truck made in Miami, then TRIPLE the amount and force our boys to hand it off to a bunch of yahoos? Pinche coños. More--much more--to come on this story. . . .

In the meantime, here's a copy of the lawsuit in its entirety:
Lime vs. Lime


ORIGINAL POST: JUNE 23, 8 A.M., by EDWIN GOEI: For every up, there's a down. This past summer, The Lime Truck was selected to be one of a few food trucks in the country to compete in Food Network's popular show The Great Food Truck Race. That's the up.

Now here's the down: The Lime Truck is being sued for alleged trademark infringement by Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a Florida-based Mexican chain with nine restaurants in the state. 

Warning:
The Great Food Truck Race spoilers ahead.

The suit was filed June 10 in Miami-Dade County and names the Lime Truck's Jason Quinn and Daniel Shemtob as defendants. No doubt this was spurred by the Lime Truck's recent foray into Miami as a finalist on the show, where they were impressing Miami customers, whipping up lots of Miami press and unwittingly becoming a target for Miami litigation.

Details to come once we get the documents.

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17 comments
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Lin
Lin

http://www.limetaqueria.com/

So that place exists in Atlanta, and the Lime Truck came through there in May... you don't see the Atlanta establishment up in arms and threatening a lawsuit over using the word "LIME" in the name!! Totally stupid.

Honuleibay
Honuleibay

hopefully some miami, FL media will cover this story and point out what a POS place lime fresh mexican grill is.....anyway we can spread the word all over florida?

Amanda
Amanda

I would challenge jurisdiction on this.  Our local boys could argue that they do not have enough minimum contacts with Florida to be sued there.  Funnily enough, I've had that same battle with this same Florida counsel in the past (on behalf of a client, not myself).

Bob Quinn
Bob Quinn

Hi Amanda.  Jason's dad here.  We might need to take you up on that.  I didn't see that they had personal jurisdiction either.  We'll have to talk if they serve the lawsuit.

Amanda
Amanda

Bob, I'll send your son my contact details via his website. I'd love to talk further...I'm an IP attorney married to a chef so this is absolutely a case I'm passionate about!

Christian Z.
Christian Z.

Amanda, can you e-mail me at reviews@ocmexfood.com? I have another IP/food case to run past you.

BuggleB
BuggleB

It's a stretch, but I can possibly understand the lawsuit if the Lime Truck decided to move to Miami and "invade" Lime Fresh's turf. Since they're back home in OC where they belong, I find the charges filed to be petty and a waste of everyone's time. 

I hope for Jason/Daniel's sake, it was just a low blow publicity stunt from Lime Fresh to stir up more customers who most likely forgot that restaurant chain existed. If anything, Lime Fresh should be HAPPY that people actually want to confuse their restaurant with Lime Truck! 

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

"Compare South Beach garishness with"...a dude wearing a bright yellow V-neck(next to another V-neck wearing dude, although in a muted tone).

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

For once, I actually think hipsters win in the style department...

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Tagline from the movie Aliens Vs. Predator: Whoever wins...we lose.

Christian Z.
Christian Z.

It'd be interesting to see what Lime Fresh is claiming since the only word that is the same in the two names is "lime" and you can't trademark "lime" all on its own. There is also almost nil likelihood that consumers would get the two businesses mixed up.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Most trademark infringement cases are crap—the result of the requirement that owners vigorously defend their marks lest they become generic. I want to see Quinn and Shemtob countersue for costs after the case is dismissed.

Did anyone else notice this only happened after Ruby Tuesday's purchase of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill?

madhatt3r1
madhatt3r1

This is absolute corporate greed! I'm going to start a local boycot of Lime Fresh Mexican here in Miami!

Honuleibay
Honuleibay

i already posted on all of lime fresh mexican grill's yelp profile and facebook page for people to boycott. they blocked me from posting on facebook and they flagged my reviews so that yelp HQ had to contact me and let me know they're taking them down 

DanGarion
DanGarion

I'll start a local boycott here in Orange County...

Medusa97
Medusa97

I've always had a feeling this would happen.  Hopefully The Lime Truck will not get screwed over.

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