Would a lime by another name be less sour?

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

You may be familiar with the Miami-based Lime Fresh Mexican Grill chain of restaurants that has become possible across south Florida. Now the restaurant chain has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against another business selling Mexican food known as The Lime Truck.

The Miami restaurant took notice of the Lime Truck, when the Food Network’s show ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ came to Miami earlier this month. In the series finally contestant tried to promote and sell food from the Lime Truck in Miami. The Lime Fresh Mexican Restaurant claims in its complaint that the Lime Truck improperly used the restaurant’s logo design to confuse customers and make profits.

The Lime Truck is generally based in California when it is not on tour for the food network show. But during the taping the complaint alleges that the operators parked the Lime Truck just a few miles from a Lime restaurant once and on another occasion just yard from a lime restaurant.

The restaurant is seeking to recover any profits that the Lime Truck made in connection with the alleged infringement, to enjoin the Lime Truck from using the term ‘lime’ in its logo or any other way that may cause customers to be confuse it with the restaurant, and to deliver for destruction any marketing collateral that contains the allegedly infringing trademark.

For businesses which have invested time and money into developing customer awareness for their brand the idea of another company cashing in on their work is frustrating to say the least. On the other hand there are in some respects a finite number of key terms that are likely to make effective brands. If you are selling a key lime pie, for example, your advertisements will likely at least somewhat resemble those of others who sell a similar product.

Source: Miami News Times “Lime Fresh Mexican Sues Lime Truck: Lime vs. Lime” Laine Doss, June 23, 2011