Home Off the Wire Another Food Truck Served Cease and Desist Over Trademark

Another Food Truck Served Cease and Desist Over Trademark

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Hubcap Grill NorfolkNORFOLK, VA - As happened earlier this year in Minnesota, another food truck has been served a cease and desist order. This time in Norfolk, VA.

This story comes from Sarah Kleiner Varble at the Virginia Pilot:

The last thing Evan Harrell needed was a letter from a lawyer.

The man behind the food truck he’d named Hubcap Grill 18 months ago was in the middle of gearing up for Monday’s downtown debut of street food vendors when it arrived in the mail.

Harrell had received a cease-and-desist letter from another Hubcap Grill, a burger joint in Houston.

“It’s very disconcerting to get a letter from a lawyer telling you you’ve got to change your name days before you take on the biggest adventure of your life,” Harrell said Friday.

He rushed to work out an agreement with the attorney for the Texas-based eatery: He would call his food truck something else, and they would give him time to pick out a new name and order fresh signs.

The owner of the restaurant in Houston was not available for comment Friday, and the lawyer representing him was out of the country, according to staff members.

Harrell’s trusty green truck still will bear the Hubcap Grill’s signs on Monday, but fans of Harrell’s cooking will soon need to keep an eye out for the new name: Panavoir.

“I made up the word. It’s a noun, and it’s a new class of worldly eaters,” Harrell said. “We are hoping that our customers become panavoirs.”

“Pan” seemed like a natural fit for a food vendor, and he wanted to finish it off with “-vore,” the suffix for one who eats. But he said a Google search of the word “panavore” showed that it was closely associated with a region in India.

The correct way to pronounce the name, according to the food truck’s Facebook page, is “pan ah vor,” but Harrell said he won’t mind if it winds up with a bit of a French twist: “pan ah vwah.”

Harrell said he’s concerned the customers he’s connected with over the past year and a half won’t know where to find him when he hangs the new signs on the truck.

But he has other challenges to focus on. He recently opened Slice, a craft pizza eatery in Chesapeake – and he feels a great deal of pressure to deliver what he promised to the city of Norfolk earlier this year after fighting for approval to serve from food trucks downtown.

“I just had a conversation with my staff, and I feel it’s wedding night: ‘OK, we’ve been engaged for a couple months, dating for three years, and tomorrow’s the big day,’ ” Harrell said.

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1 COMMENT

  1. That is why the first thing I did before we even hit the streets was to secure the trademark for not only our truck (The Fast Foodie) but our product (Globaco). We found out someone at a brick and mortar in LA wanted to use Globaco but realized we had it. You have to protect your business! There are some things to spend money on…accounting and legal issues are two of those things.

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