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.
I am an attorney at the law firm Owen, Gleaton, Egan & Jones. I have practiced in Georgia since 1993, and have a broad litigation practice that has encompassed nearly every complex business litigation problem. My career has included successful results in state and federal courts in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, New Jersey and others. Generally, my expertise breaks down into three litigation categories: business, real estate and intellectual property. I have represented large and small companies in disputes involving fraud, RICO, trade secret, copyright, trademark, wage and hour issues (including class actions), breach of fiduciary duty, title insurance, commercial real estate and other contract and business tort claims. I have also handled personal injury defense including toxic tort and product liability claims. Also, I handled two successful dismissals of class actions brought by the notorious Milberg Weiss law firm. I was selected to Georgia Trend Magazine's Georgia's Legal Elite: 2006 for the business litigation category and as a Georgia Superlawyer for 2008-10 in the category of Business Litigation.