You can’t fake a slogan, when it belongs to someone else

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

The Naples, Florida seafood restaurant, Pinchers Crab Shack, says that a national fast food restaurant chain has improperly used its slogan “You can’t fake fresh” and by doing so has committed trademark infringement. The national fast food chain, Wendy’s, is also accused of violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Pincher’s Crab Shack says that it trademarked the phrase “You can’t fake fresh” in 2004. Evidence filed in the lawsuit includes pictures of Wendy’s employees with signs bearing the trademarked phrase.

Anyone who has founded their own business is familiar with all of the long days around a conference room table or long evenings around a kitchen table trying to think of slogans and tagline that will represent their brand and capture the imagination of customers. These sessions can be an even bigger part of the process for smaller local and regional business who do not have the resources to hire advertising agencies or rely upon their own internal dedicated marketing department.
The Florida restaurant claims that Wendy’s use of the slogan causes confusion among potential customers. The company that owns Pinchers crab shack has seven restaurants in south Florida. It alleges that the slogan is worth more than $2 million and is asking the court to stop Wendy’s from using the slogan at all of their more than 6500 restaurants in the United States and abroad.

A spokesman for Wendy’s declined to comment on the case to news sources beyond explaining that Wendy’s slogan is “You know when it’s real.”

Source: UPI “Wendy’s sued over ‘fake’ slogan” July 19, 2011