CPC Properties, owner of the Chickie's and Pete's restaurant chain, recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against New York J & P Pizza, alleging J & P's "Maryland crab fries" menu item infringes on the trademarked crab fries offered by Chickie's and Pete's.
The lawsuit states that Chickie's and Pete's owns a federally registered trademark for the phrase "Crab Fries" to describe "seasoned french fries served hot and cooked to order." According to the suit, crab fries have become a signature item at the eight Chickie's and Pete's restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, thanks in part to frequent mentions of the fries on the Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia program "Monday Night Live."
In its suit, CPC states J & P Pizza offers an item called "Maryland crab fries" at its restaurants throughout Maryland. The legal complaint states, "this can only be seen as a willful attempt to palm off Plaintiff's good will in its crab fries mark, and as a blatant attempt to create consumer confusion."
Consumer confusion is also at issue in a trademark lawsuit playing out in Chicago, in which a sausage stand called Jim's Original Polish, established in 1941, sued a more recently opened competitor, Jim's Original Chicago.