Takeaway: Chipotle received a cease-and-desist letter in July regarding their trademark “Tasty Made” for their new venture, a burger chain with sustainable ingredients and beef raised free form hormones and antibiotics, and the burger battle is on!
An East Coast burger chain that opened in 2010, serving as the official burger of the Boston Red Socks, filed a trademark application in 2010 for “Tasty Burger” inside a styled banner. The trademark is currently in the Supplemental Register and is allowed be filed to the Principal Register once the company gains enough distinctiveness, which Tasty Burger CEO David DuBois claims it has achieved.
Chipotle argues that the Tasty Burger trademark is “merely descriptive and not enforceable” and would not be able to get register to the Principal Register and is confident in moving forward with the name Tasty Made for its new burger chain.
A Chipotle spokesperson stated that they believed there was enough difference in the name and logo marks so as not to cause consumer confusion, and therefore both brands should be able to co-exist.
Comparing the legal battle between Tasty Burger and Chipotle to a “David and Goliath scenario,” DuBois says that his company “cannot simply stand by and watch an enormously powerful company like Chipotle move forward with opening a burger restaurant with a similar name, mark, and logo design.”
Interestingly, Chipotle originally was going with “Better Burger” but abandoned that mark because the company was challenged with other trademark issues. Accordingly, Chipotle’s legal team must have more confidence pursuing this mark.