Less than a week into operation and already facing a trademark lawsuit…ouch. I’d revert to the IP attorney’s old adage of “Always do a proper trademark clearance search” but I’m not sure that was even necessary here. The Plaintiff in this trademark lawsuit is the well-known Pelican Brewing Company, set in beautiful Pacific City, Oregon.
Defendants are alleged to have (recently…Soft Opening was March 19 and Grand Opening is today) infringed upon Plaintiff’s numerous PELICAN-formative marks by opening a bar and restaurant in Portland, Oregon (near NW 23rd, in the home of the recently closed Peddler and Pen) that serves beer, coffee, and foods under the name “Pelican’s Waiting Room.” Defendants also allegedly use a “confusingly similar” logo, as well as food and beverages branded “Pelican” including an alcoholic beverage called “Pelican’s Punch.”
Plaintiff has numerous federal registrations for PELICAN-formative marks. A few weeks ago, Plaintiff was contacted by the director of the Oregon Brewers Guild, who indicated that people in the beer and restaurant industries may be experiencing and/or may be likely to experience confusion between Plaintiff’s PELICAN Marks and Defendants’ use of the Infringing Mark.
Note that the Defendants’ website has already removed the term “Pelican” and now just calls the restaurant “The Waiting Room” so this lawsuit could be resolved quickly.
For Pelican beer aficionados, here’s some good information from the Complaint:
[Plaintiff] is opening the Pelican Brewing Pub in Cannon Beach, Oregon in late Spring 2016. Plaintiff also has plans to open a PELICAN-branded bar and restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Pelican Brewing Company v. Pelican’s Waiting Room, LLC et al
Court Case Number: 3:2016-cv-00486
File Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Plaintiff: Pelican Brewing Company
Plaintiff Counsel: Michael A. Cohen, Nicholas (Nika) F. Aldrich, Jr., Alexandra J. Bodnar of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Defendant: Pelican’s Waiting Room, LLC d/b/a Pelican’s Waiting Room, No Comply Food Group, LLC, Kyle Rourke
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Anna J. Brown