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Tuesday, 20 July 2004

SLOPPY BARS SPELL TRADE MARK TROUBLE

Findlaw reports that two Florida bars are engaged in a fight over who has the right to use the name “Sloppy Joe’s”. The original Sloppy Joe’s was run by “Sloppy Joe” Russell, a friend of Ernest Hemmingway, and was regularly frequented by the novelist, though it closed down in 1937.  Captain Tony’s Saloon moved into the basement of the city morgue which had housed the original Sloppy Joe’s and began calling itself “the First and Original Sloppy Joe’s 1933-1937”. Meanwhile, Sidney Snelgrove and John Mayer bought the Sloppy Joe’s bar, which had moved down the road. Now Sloppy Joe’s is claiming Captain Tony’s use of the Sloppy Joe’s name infringes its registered trade mark.

“Captain Tony's products are not of Sloppy Joe's quality, and the condition of its premises does not meet Sloppy Joe's standards. As a result, Captain Tony's has sullied Sloppy Joe's distinctive style and decor"
said the suit filed before the Federal Court. No date for the trial has been set.
 
The IPKat thinks that if the new Sloppy Joe’s succeeds in this suit, there would be no way for Captain Tony’s to describe the way in which its building had been previously used. This would rule out a form of descriptive use of a trade mark.
 
Things to eat while you’re there here and here
More sloppy drinking establishments here and here

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