Friday, January 26, 2007

Is Stoney River Confusingly Similar to Rocky River?

That's what O'Charley's Inc. claims in it's lawsuit against Darden Resaurants Inc. O'Charley's claims that Darden's Rocky River Grillhouse (below) infringes upon its trademark Stoney River Legendary Steaks (top). This all reported in The Tennessean.

Personally I wouldn't be confused, but I am not the standard. ; )

Despite the outcome, this case shows the importance of having a name cleared before actually using it and incurring the expense involved in creating and marketing the name. (Please note that I do not know whether or not Darden conducted a trademark search). While Darden may have the financial wherewithal to defend the suit, I suspect that most mom and pop restaurants would not. They would either have to change their names or divert funds in their defense.

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