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TX Judge: Umami Burger Can't Trademark Word 'Umami'

Umami Mia Pizzeria.
Umami Mia Pizzeria.
Photo: Spencer Selvidge/EATX

An Austin-based pizzeria has won the first round of a trademark hearing regarding the use of "Umami" in its name. In June, the empire builders at Umami Burger filed suit against Austin's just-opened Umami Mia Pizzeria, claiming that its name infringed on the burger joint's trademark. But last week, a Texas judge ruled that the word "umami" is in fact "a common word that cannot be monopolized," denying Umami Burger's injunction. A press release by Umami Mia Pizzeria co-owner Mark Turner, unsurprisingly, praises the judge's decision:

As the court recognized, one is a burger joint, and one is a pizza restaurant. There is no confusion in the marketplace that the two are connected. They are an out of state California burger joint with only two locations outside of California. Nothing in Austin. Nothing in Texas. We believe that a very low percentage of Texans have even heard of them. One restaurant company cannot own a common word like umami, which is particularly well suited to a pizzeria because many pizza ingredients are high in umami.

Umami Burger has yet to comment on the ruling.

· Umami Mia Pizzeria Wins Preliminary Trademark Hearing [Eater Austin]
· All Umami Burger Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Name Game Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Umami Mia Pizzeria

1500 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704

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