A Brooklyn restaurant that had the same name as a famous jewelry company was forced to change its name, change its facade from gold and purple and pay the jewelry company $25,000. The restaurant, which operated in Sheepshead Bay, went by the name Faberge without the use of an accent over the last letter. The jeweler that goes by the same name called it a shameless appropriation of its intellectual property.
While the owner said that customers wouldn't be confused because he mostly sold steaks, he reportedly moved quickly to settle the case. The settlement that was signed by a judge gives the restaurant until the end of August to change the name. It was reported that its old signage was covered, and a person claiming to be a manager at the restaurant and banquet hall said that there was no decision on a new name as of Aug. 6.
When a company creates a name, a logo or a slogan, that company generally has the exclusive right to use that intellectual property for its own gain. Any other organization that creates a name or logo that seems similar or may confuse customers as to which company they are spending money on may be infringing on that exclusive use. If this happens, the infringing company may be required to pay damages, or the two parties may decide to enter into a licensing arrangement.
Business owners who believe that their copyright or trademark rights have been infringed upon may wish to hire a business law attorney who may be able to pursue legal action that may result in the infringing party paying damages or other compensation either at trial or in a settlement. The infringing company may also have to change its name or logo to avoid further damage.
Source: Reuters, "Jeweler Fabergé forces Brooklyn's Faberge restaurant to change name", Jonathan Allen, August 06, 2014