Tags Posts tagged with "Trademark"



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.

Find the original article at newsfixnow.com <here>

food truck trademark

The mobile food industry is our passion and we are always looking for ways to assist food truck vendors as well as the customers they feed. From time to time we run polls to gain industry information that truck owners can use to help better their customer service and the options that they provide to the communities that they serve. Other times our polls are set to find out general information “we” want to know.

This week we are interested in finding out if food truck vendor have taken the time to research their mobile food business names in regards to trademarks.

Because of the recent discussion coming out of Indianapolis and the food truck Little Eataly. We want to know what percentage of mobile food vendors have done the necessary research to protect themselves.

[poll id=”64″]

If you’ve answered “No”, please be advised. A great name for a food truck is worthless if someone else already has laid claim to it. Start with some free resources like Trademarkia.com or USPTO.gov to do a cursory search to see if the name is already in use. Then, hire a trademark attorney to do a more thorough screening, and if the name isn’t taken, to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Getting it right the first time will save you both a lot of time and money.


INDIANAPOLIS, IN – It’s the classic case of giant vs. not-so-giant.

New York City-based Eataly, a 58,000-square-foot Italian-themed foodie mall co-owned by celebrity chef Mario Batali, is demanding that popular Indy food truck Little Eataly hand over its name.

Indianapolis residents Chae and Rob Carmack — who said they put their life savings into their recognizable purple box truck that serves Sicilian-style items — received an initial salvo from Eataly’s legal team last August.

Eataly, which opened a Chicago location last fall, is trademarked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and feels that Little Eataly, a play on “Little Italy,” is too close in name.

At stake is the Web domain littleeataly.com, the branding and the food truck, which Eataly’s legal counsel has threatened to have impounded if its demands aren’t met.

Find the entire article at Indystar.com <here>

DISCLAIMER:Little Eataly is the  food truck used on the cover of editor-in-chief Richard Myrick’s book Running a Food Truck for Dummies.

house-of-hunger-truck minneapolisMINNEAPOLIS, MN – It’s a good thing Wesley Kaake didn’t tattoo his food truck’s name on his arm like he planned.

He renamed his food truck, The Twisted Sister House of Hunger, this year after the hair metal band Twisted Sister threatened legal action. Now the food truck has emerged from that scrape with a shorter name, House of Hunger, and advice for other business owners.

The first lesson is to pick your battles. Kaake (sounds like “cake”) bought The Twisted Sister from two sisters in 2011. The name sounded cool until lawyers representing the band Twisted Sister demanded a change.

“We’re a tiny metal box, not a rock band,” Kaake said.

He decided it wasn’t worth the time or money of a court trial, even though insurance would have covered his costs.

Changing the name cost about $3,000, but everything else stayed the same.

The truck still parks at the same spot on Second Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth streets. Customers still order from the same menu, with sandwiches such as the “Twisted Philly,” hotdogs and sides. He serves at least 100 customers a day.

Find the entire article by Urmila Ramakrishnan at bizjournals.com <here>

Follow the new truck Twitter account:

House of Hunger

Twitter: @houseofhunger

The House of Hunger Food Truck. Urban Street Food Specialists by day; Twisted Culinary Artists by night. The original home of Polygamy Sauce.

Minneapolis, MN · houseofhunger.com

naming a food truck

What’s in a food truck’s name? Naming a food truck is a common problem. Is it too quirky or not memorable enough? The challenge for all prospective food truck owners is to pick a name that’s catchy, but also fits well with your particular type of business.

10 Questions To Ask Before Naming A Food Truck

Here are 10 questions to ask as you ponder naming a food truck. That choice could make all the difference in establishing your food truck business in your local area.

What do I want a name to accomplish for my food truck? 
The first question to ask yourself when naming a food truck is what you want the name to do. The name you select can help separate you from competitors and reinforce your food truck’s brand. Clearly define your brand positioning before choosing a name.

Will the name be too limiting? 
Don’t box yourself in. Avoid picking names that could limit your mobile food business from enlarging its menu or expanding to new locations.

Does the name make sense for my truck? 
For most food trucks, it’s best to adopt a name that provides some information about the style of cuisine you serve. That doesn’t mean it can’t also have a catchy ring. But be careful because quirky names are always a crapshoot.

Is the name easy to remember? 
The shorter the name, the better, (or in other words K.I.S.S.). We suggest food truck owners limit it to two or three syllables and avoid using hyphens or other special characters. Also try to skip using acronyms, which mean nothing to most people, and picking a name whose first letter is closer to A than Z because certain algorithms and directory listings work alphabetically. When choosing an identity for your food truck simple and straightforward are always in style.

Is the name easy for people to spell? 
That may seem to be a given, but some food truck owners purposely select names that consumers can’t easily spell. It’s a risky strategy to try to make a mobile food business stand out. If your name looks like a typo, scratch it off the list. Some branding professionals we have spoken with believe it’s important that your name be spelled exactly as it sounds. Otherwise, you will forever have to spell it out for people when saying the name or your company’s email or website address aloud.

How will potential customers first encounter your name? 
Some naming experts believe there are exceptions to the easy-to-spell rule, especially if most people will see your name for the first time in print or on the side of your truck. The payoff can be that the unusual sound and spelling of the name helps to create a very distinctive brand.

Does the name sound good and is it easy to pronounce? 
The sound of the name is important in conveying a feeling of energy and excitement. You also must be sure potential customers can easily pronounce your food truck’s name. It is a fact that people are able to spell, pronounce and remember names that they are familiar with.

Is your food truck’s name meaningful only to you? 
A name with hidden or personal meanings evokes nothing about your food truck’s brand, and there may be cases when you or a staff member won’t be there to explain it when most people encounter it.

Is the name visually appealing? 
When naming a food truck, you also want to consider how the name will look on the side of your truck, in a logo or an ad.

Have I conducted a proper trademark search?

A great name for a food truck is worthless if someone else already has laid claim to it. Start with some free resources like Trademarkia.com or USPTO.gov to do a search to see if the name is already in use. Then, hire a trademark attorney to do a more thorough screening, and if the name isn’t taken, to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Get naming a food truck right the first time will save you both a lot of time and money.

For more on Trademarking your food truck check out this full article on the topic.

Still having problems naming a food truck? Try out our fun and handy Food Truck Name Generator.

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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