HOUSTON, TX – It sure is tough running a small business these days. Especially a restaurant. If you don’t believe us, ask the Fernandez brothers. Richard and Victor Fernandez decided to break into the Houston food truck scene three years ago with a concept sure to win folks over on summer afternoons: shaved ice. The truck: Texas Blizzard.
“We take great pride in our snow cones,” Victor says, “we make sure everyone gets the best snow cone they can get.”
Things were going great until a few weeks ago when they got a message from another purveyor of cold sweet treats. Ice cream giant Dairy Queen sent the brothers a two-page cease and desist letter telling them to drop the word ‘blizzard’ from their name or face the wrath of their corporate legal team.
“They found out who we are,” Victor explains, “we’re infringing on their trademarked blizzard and they want us to remove it from any of our marketing, any of our websites, anything, within 30 days of that letter being sent to us.”
Dairy Queen has been making ‘Blizzards’ since 1985. And the name is trademarked. And unless the brothers Fernandez want to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight the challenge, they’ll just have to suck it up and find a new name.
“All this effort has gone for nothing because no they’re going to see a new truck selling what we sell and they’re going to be confused, ‘is that Texas Blizzard or is that somebody else?’”
We reached out to Dairy Queen for comment, but haven’t heard back. Like we said, it sure is tough running a small business these days.
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