cheeseburger.jpgOrange County – Officials at the Irvine, California-based In-N-Out fast-food chain have confirmed that they have filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against an alleged copycat burger joint on the east coast.

The defendant is Maryland-based Grab-N-Go Burger, which uses a red logo with a yellow streak through the letters.  Facebook photos of the restaurant portray a red and white tiled wall as the décor.  In-N-Out is claiming that the logo is a clear case of trademark infringement on its yellow boomerang marquee arrow, which has been the chain’s best-known symbol since the 1950’s.  All of the In-N-Out restaurants are decorated with red and white tiled walls and seating.

“Since our inception in 1948, we have worked hard to develop the unique look and feel of our restaurants,” an attorney for the famous burger chain stated.  “Consumers have come to associate our ‘In-N-Out’ name, yellow arrow, long-standing colors, restaurant décor, menu design, and unique menu items, such as ‘Animal Style’ burgers, with the highest in food quality and freshness.  We will always vigorously defend our trademarks and trade dress against any and all copycats and imitators but, as in every case, we also look for friendly resolutions with all parties.”

In addition to the similarities in the logo and restaurant décor, In-N-Out has expressed concern with Grab-N-Go’s ‘Wild Style’ burger, citing that it is a knockoff of its famous ‘Animal Style’ burger, a mustard-cooked beef patty with additional pickles, cheese, spread, and grilled onions diced up and mixed together on the grill before being put on the burger.

In-N-Out, which has prided itself on its simplicity with its limited but awesome menu, is anything but simple when it comes to protecting its intellectual property.  In 2000, it sued Texas-based Whataburger for selling a trademark-infringing ‘Double Double’ burger.  The following year, In-N-Out took action against Lightening Burgers in Arlington, Texas of fast-food “espionage” for using information from former In-N-Out employees to copy the chains famous menu and look.  In 2007, Utah-based Chadder’s began selling ‘Animal Style’ burgers while copying everything from the color scheme to the employees’ uniforms. 

In-N-Out was victorious in all of the cases.