TX’s Whataburger Suing NC’s What-A-Burger For Violating Trademark

TX’s Whataburger Suing NC’s What-A-Burger For Violating Trademark


Whataburger Suing NC What-a-burgerThe Texas fast food chain Whataburger filed a lawsuit in NC court yesterday against North Carolina’s What-A-Burger #13 for trademark infringement. The lawsuit claims What-A-Burger #13 sells goods identical to Whataburger’s offerings, violating Whataburger’s trademarks.

Whataburger secured its trademarks in 1957, while What-A-Burger began using the name in 1969. In 2022, Whataburger contacted What-A-Burger #13 about potential confusion. They agreed that What-A-Burger #13 could use the name under specific conditions for its existing locations and food truck.

However, What-A-Burger #13 formed an LLC shortly before the agreement, without informing Whataburger. They then used the name in ways not allowed by the agreement.

The lawsuit followed Whataburger’s announcement of plans to open restaurants in North Carolina by 2025.

The suit specifically alleges that:

“Goodwill in the WHATABURGER Mark among non-Texans is equivalent. Local news outlets in disparate places like New Mexico, Arkansas, and South Carolina often publish articles reflecting public excitement surrounding the potential opening of anew Whataburger location in their state. When the first Whataburger opened in Atlanta in2022, customers waited—day and night—in lines that stretched blocks from the restaurant. Whataburger has continuously and extensively used the mark WHATABURGER (the “WHATABURGER Mark”) for an array of restaurant services and food products, among other goods and services, since 1950….As reflected in signage at Defendants’ restaurants and on their website and food trucks, Defendants claim they began using the What-A-Burger #13 Mark in connection with their business no earlier than 1969—over a decade after Whataburger received its first federal trademark registration for the WHATABURGER Mark. Each Defendant uses the What-A-Burger #13 Mark in connection with two brick-and-mortar restaurants located in North Carolina with addresses at 8330 West Franklin Street, Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, and 101 North Central Avenue, Locust, North Carolina and/or in connection with one or more mobile food trucks…

Defendants’ unauthorized use of the What-A-Burger #13 Mark causes irreparable harm to Whataburger and to the public…

Defendants be ordered to destroy any signage using the WHAT-A-BURGER #13 Mark and any other mark that is confusingly similar to Whataburger’s WHATABURGER Mark…”

You can read the entire lawsuit here:

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