Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nathan's Famous Sued by Vegetarians

Nathan's Famous is being sued Northern Soy - an upstate New York tofu company- for trademark infringement. The suit alleges that Nathan's has used the trademarked term 'not dog' without permission. This seems to have been bigger news upstate than down here; The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle is apparently the only paper to have reported the story:
Nathan's Famous, based in Westbury on Long Island, is selling hotdog-like products under the Not Dogs trademark, according to the complaint. The case was filed Jan. 4 in federal court in Central Islip, Suffolk County.

A Northern Soy customer spotted the Not Dog name on a Nathan's Famous dog in New York City, said Stephen B. Salai, a lawyer for Harter Secrest & Emery in Rochester who is representing Northern Soy.

"They don't have the right to take the Not Dog name from Northern Soy," Salai said. […]

Nathan's Famous officials have said they aren't infringing because they actually sell Northern Soy's Not Dogs.
Luckily, it sounds like the conflict is going to be resolved amicably. Salai said that, "Nathan's has been cooperative since we filed our complaint," and that he is confident the case can be settled without going to trial.

The important thing to remember, in all of this, is that we are very lucky to live in a world where everybody- even vegetarians- can experience the pleasure of enjoying a Nathan's hot dog on the boardwalk.

Not Dog suit pits Chili firm against Nathan's [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]

- post by Ben Nadler

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