Trademark Two-sday: Apple, Jimmy John's Make Headlines
Post date: Oct 12, 2010 6:56:43 PM
#1: Jimmy John's has sued Chicago-based Halsted Street Deli for trademark infringement. Specifically, Jimmy John's is upset that Halsted is using the names "Tom Turkey" and "Hunt Club" for two of their sandwiches. If you have ever eaten at Jimmy John's then you know that two of their popular sandwiches are called, coincidentally enough, "Turkey Tom" and the "Hunter's Club."
Jimmy John's had sent at least two cease and desist letters to Halsted warning them to change the name of their sandwiches because they were infringing upon registered trademarks (JJ's registered the names in 2002). In response, Halsted's attorney sent back this argument for non-infringement:
"Our client's use of Tom Turkey is generic and not likely to create confusion vis a vis your client's Turkey Tom mark...[y]our mark includes the possessive form of 'Hunter,' namely 'Hunter's,' while our client does not use the possessive form."
This is a pretty weak argument, but I guess you have to say something in defense of your client if they are not willing to concede infringement and change the names. In my opinion, Halsted is in deep trouble here. They are fighting not only federally registered trademarks, but they are also up against a company with more than 1,000 locations -- effectively adding to the strength of the trademark protection for Jimmy John's sandwiches. Be looking for Halsted to change the name of their sandwiches and settle here soon, or, even worse, lose in court.
#2: Apple has officially received trademark registration for their oh-so familiar phrase "There's an app for that." It will be interesting to see how strongly Apple tries to enforce unauthorized use of this trademark. Especially in regards to knock-off phrases that are designed to play on Apple's slogan (i.e., there's a map for that, etc.).
**shout-out to the two loyal readers who referred me to the above stories. Reader submissions are encouraged and appreciated**