In-N-Out Sues Maryland Burger Joint For Infringement

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Last week, Irvine-based In-N-Out filed an infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against Grab-N-Go Burger, an independent restaurant in Aberdeen, Maryland.

The chain alleges that Grab-N-Go's choice of color scheme, and, in fact, their name, is too close to In-N-Out's. They also allege that Grab-N-Go's "Wild Style Burger" infringes upon its proprietary "Animal Style".


This isn't the first time In-N-Out has gone after alleged copycats. Two years ago they were victorious in a trademark infringement lawsuit they filed against one Nicky's In-N-Out in Illinois. In 2007 they took a Utah-based burger joint called Chadder's which offered "Double Doubles" to court and won.

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9 comments
Amanda Mooney
Amanda Mooney

I don't know that the logo itself is a slam dunk case of infringement, but I think In N Out has a fairly strong case of trade dress infringement based upon the interior stylings of the restaurant.  Trade dress claims are all the rage in the restaurant community at the moment.  If I were In N Out's lawyer (and, hey, I'm not opposed to that possibility by the way just in case you're reading this, In N Out), I would definitely have advised them to pursue this case.  Grab N Go clearly is trying to profit from In N Out's goodwill.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

In&Out is going to lose this one.  The logo isn't even close and the other challenge is just ridiculous.  McD's would have a better complaint. 

These actions by the company that prints bible verse chapters on their food wrappers. Oy vey. 

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

I will grant you the insides are similar but does this mean I&O owns the red and white checkerboard pattern?  I sincerely hope the Jesusfreaks at I&O lose this one, but, for sure, the only ones that won't lose are the lawyers. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Blame US intellectual property law for this one, 20ftJesus. They have to defend their trademarks vigorously or they will lose them. Unfortunately, this usually means a bunch of bullcrap lawsuits just so there's a paper trail. It's such crap.

Amanda Mooney
Amanda Mooney

It's not so much that they own it, it's that consumers encountering a fast food restaurant with an interior so similar to In N' Out will likely be confused into thinking that the restaurant in question is affiliated with In N' Out.  That's the standard.  Good legal advice up front could have prevented this mess for Grab N' Go.  I know nobody wants to spend money on lawyers when they're starting a business, but it can save you loads of money down the road.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Hey Overley (I&O fanboi) -- I looked before I posted and the logo isn't even close.  Even if it is, then Nike should be suing I&O for copying their swoosh.  As far as Yelp goes, I don't get my legal opinions from there or the OCR.  Speaking of the OCR, bring back the fat guy!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Yes, something needs to be done about patents too.  It's stifling creativity.  With the MotoGoog deal, patents are now worth $500,000 each on average.  Companies are being forced to spend big money to protect products they already paid for. 

Amanda Mooney
Amanda Mooney

Niyaz is great...follow his Facebook page: Fat Dude on a Diet.

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