In my last post I included something my high school daughter wrote for me. Many people asked how she learned about the problems #entrepreneurs face with trademark concerns. Simple! She did a little research!
My daughter told me that she found a story about a bar in Oregon that had to change its name because it was too similar to another #brand. She went on to explain that the original name for the bar was identical to that of a jelly company. Say what???
I snooped behind her and confirmed her story. Justy’s Jelly forced Justy’s Bar and Grill to change its name to Lifty’s.
So many things…. Where do I start?
1. I highly doubt Justy’s Bar and Grill performed a search before opening. If they had completed this basic process, they would have known that Justy’s Jelly existed. If they knew Justy’s Jelly existed, they would have either:
– Chosen a different name; or (more likely)
– Used the Justy’s Bar and Grill name knowing that their services are not closely related to jelly.
2. You generally can’t force a company in an unrelated field to change its name. To me, jelly and bar and grill restaurants are quite distinct. They both deal with food, but they are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Maybe I could understand this if Justy’s was a famous brand or was a fanciful term, but this fact pattern is nonsensical to me.
3. The only way Justy’s Jelly won this was that they took the bar and grill by surprise. Or maybe they simply “lawyered up” and the bar and grill wasn’t willing to follow suit.
The simple matter is that the bar and grill was caught off guard, or didn’t care to defend itself. A brand health check would have prevented this. I offer this check for $275. Or, thanks to my 2023 incentive, it would have been $250 since Justy’s is in the food and beverage industry. They would have been aware of the jelly guys, and known that their claims didn’t gel. Also, they would have known to call me to help resolve the issue.