It appears as if Smashburger, an American fast casual burger restaurant chain has to culminate up with a bad taste in its mouth if In-N-Out’s allegations in its latest trademark complaint against Smashburger are proven true.
In-N-Out Burger has filed a trademark infringement suit against Denver-based competitor Smashburger, alleging that Smashburger’s “Triple Double” burger is too similar to In-N-Out’s “Double-Double” and “Triple Triple”, which might result in confusing and misleading the consuming public” into believing that In-N-Out has approved or licensed the sandwiches to Smashburgers.
LIKELIHOOD OF SIMILARITY
In–N–Out , founded in 1948, as a quick service burger stand ,has burgeoned a cultish patronage World Wide. Smashburger founded in 2007 in Denver, Colorado, introducing its “Triple Double” burger in July 2017, made with two beef patties and three layers of cheese. In-N-Out alleges that this infringes upon its registered trademarks for the “double-double”, the “triple-triple”, the “3×3”.
In-N-Out does not want customers to think that burgers and other food called “Triple Double” or “Smashburger Triple Double” or other confusing number marks are somehow related to In-N-Out or made by In-N-Out, or that there is a connection between In-N-Out and Smashburger.
In-N-Out likely wants to establish a zone of protection around its marks which would prevent others from using not only the same marks, such as ‘Double Double’, but also marks that are not identical but are similar—in this case ‘Triple Double,’”.It also has asserted that its number marks for burgers and restaurant services are famous, which, if proven, will make them more broadly enforceable.”
In-N-Out claims it has continuously used its registered trademarks “DOUBLE-DOUBLE” and “TRIPLE TRIPLE” since both the 60’s and when they were registered in 1975 and 1990 respectively. In-N-Out argues that the new three-cheese, two-patty burger will cause consumer confusion and dilute its marks, as they have been using it over a long period of time, having effectuated a exorbitant level of revenue and having being extensively advertising or promoting so that there is a very elevated level of consumer remembrance.
Protection of intellectual property rights will unequivocally espouse the evolution of new products, services and national economies and any disintegration thereof can jeopardize the economic performance of the sector and might retrench the major welfare emanated therefrom.