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Wawa Slaps Small Restaurant With Trademark Lawsuit

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The cult favorite convenience store chain is demanding Florida restaurant Wawa Curry Taste of India change its name.

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The beloved Wawa convenience store chain — which once made a four-and-a-half ton hoagie — is no fan of sharing its name. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the company is suing an independent restaurant in Kissimmee, Fla. by the name of Wawa Curry Taste of India for "violating its rights to the name." The convenience store chain claims that the name dates back to a family-owned dairy company that started in Wawa, Pa. and sent the restaurant a letter "demanding" that they stop using the name.

The owner of the restaurant, Yogi Patel, tells the paper that he sent the company a letter back explaining why he had chosen the name Wawa. It was not modeled after the convenience store but after a Gujarati phrase meaning "good job" or "congratulations." Patel thought that because the restaurant is called "Wawa Curry" it was different enough.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, alleges that Wawa Curry's use of the name "impairs the distinctive quality" of the Wawa trademark. The chain is seeking "unspecified compensation" for use of the name and is asking a judge to force the restaurant to stop using the name altogether. Patel — who does not have an attorney — dejectedly notes that he "can't fight them" and will eventually change the name.

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