Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dantanna's Wins Trademark Dispute Against Legendary L.A. Eatery Dan Tana's

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of local eatery Dantanna's against claims that its name infringed on the common law mark of Los Angeles restaurant Dan Tana's.  Dan Tana v. Dantanna's, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 14514 (11th Cir.), Decided July 15, 2010.  The court agreed with the district court that there was no material evidence to support of likelihood of confusion such that trial was appropriate.  The similarities between the two businesses are that the marks are nearly spelled the same, and are pronounced the same, and the two restaurants have the same distribution channel in that they are both upscale retail restaurants.  However, the court noted that the Dan Tana's mark was weak and had no secondary meaning outside Los Angeles, which is the limits of its territorial right in the mark because it had not registered its trademark, which would afford national rights of use.  The court emphasized the distant geographical markets of the two restaurants and found that distance highly relevant to a lack of likelihood of confusion.  The court also noted that there was no evidence that the owner of Dantanna's intended to take his name from the L.A. restaurant, instead he testified that he got the name from his two kids' names, Dan and Anna.  Morever, the court noted that although the two companies are both restaurants, they are very different in their theme and style -- Dan Tana's is a cozy, romantic Italian place, while Dantanna's features a surf and turf menu and ubiquitous flat screen TV's playing sporting events. 

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